August is always a crazy time in Italy as it is the month where a majority of people take their yearly vacations at the height of the summer season. It is also a very important time for Italians for another reason, as on the 15th of August ‘Ferragosto’ is celebrated.
Ferragosto is the celebration of an important religious day in the Christian calendar, but it is also a time of year that has been celebrated for other reasons since the introduction of the festivals of Emperor Augustus in 18 BC. The month was dedicated to a time of rest after months of hard labour and to make the most of the hottest time of the year.
Today the 15th sees the coming together of these two events where you will find a huge amount of people escaping the heat to the seaside to enjoy the celebrations with friends and family. It is for this reason that you will find most in-land towns within Italy during this period are noticeably much quieter with many shops displaying ‘chiuso per ferie’ which translates to ‘closed for the holidays’.
Around the period of the 15th there is an abundance of festivities that are celebrated uniquely in each region of the country from processions dedicated to the religious significance of the day to music festivals and traditional fireworks that onlookers can admire from the beach.