Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ferragosto - Summer Vacation

Italy’s biggest summer holiday –Ferragosto– is in full swing and that means up to two-thirds of all the country’s inhabitants are at the seaside, or in the mountains. Today’s Feast of the Assumption is the centrepiece of Ferragosto, but by last weekend some 16 million Italians had already jumped into their cars to create what is always the biggest traffic jam of the year. This is called l’esodo, or “the exodus”. The odd thing (at least for non-Italians) is that most people are fleeing from crowded towns and cities and heading to even more crowded holiday spots.

But Italians relish crowds. And traffic jams. And long queues and lengthy waits. That’s why all 60 million of them seem to end up at the same six or seven holiday destination spots. A deserted beach would be no fun at all for most Italians because it is more prestigious to be where everyone else is.
Quoted with permission: Robert Mickens' column "Letter from Rome"
in the 8/15/2009 edition of The Tablet, a London-based Catholic periodical.

In our neighborhood of Garbatella Ferragosto means
that the shops are closed and there is plenty of parking.
Even the playground is often empty during Fertagosto.

The only open doors now are to the church and the gelateria.

There is not even a place to get a cup of coffee!

Here is a sampling of the neighborhood signs announcing vacations.


laurent said...

Yes but only 7 million actually took the holiday and went away somewhere out of 35 million. So I want to know where are they all hiding?

joany said...

Beautiful photos.