What is Ferragosto in Italy?

Ferragosto is an Italian holiday celebrated in the middle of the summer, on August 15.

After Christmas and Easter, Ferragosto is the third festivity Italians mostly appreciate overall.

It is a time when Italians go on vacation or get to the beach or on the mountains for the day.

Yes, it's considered a day of rest where people leave the city to get relief from the heath and meet friends.


ferragosto italy

The origins of Ferragosto

The holiday has a religious significance.

The word ferragosto comes from the Latin Feriae Augusti (the festivals of the Emperor Augustus) which were introduced back in 18 BC. 

This, together with other festivities were probably linked to the longer Augustali period, a time of pause after hard agricultural labor months.

How Italians celebrate Ferragosto

During the week of Ferragosto, Italian cities get empty, and beaches fill up welcoming people from all over the world. 

Many events take place on the Italian shores during this day: fun games for children, dancing, water sport sessions etc.

In the afternoon, you can enjoy a tasty cocktail at a beach bar, listen to great music and more.

Finally, in the evening you have the chance to do lots of different things: going to a beach party, to an exclusive nightclub, concert or eventually watch the fireworks.

ferragosto celebrations

You don't like the sea? No problem.

Mountains are the perfect option where to spend your Ferragosto! 

People have the possibility to explore wild areas along with expert tour guides, hike into the woods or reach small traditional mountain towns.

Another typical activity that Italians like doing during Ferragosto is going to the lake or countryside. 

As you already know, Italy is full of lakes and countryside.

Therefore, there is  an options for everyone.

Staying in the city on Ferragosto

But what if you can't leave the city on Ferragosto?

Well, remember that most businesses and public offices are closed on that day.

Also, many local shops could be closed and you could therefore bump into signs like chiuso per ferie (closed for vacation).

However, the good news is that plenty of museums and cultural sites still stay open.

As a consequence, you have the opportunity to visit major Italian attractions on Ferragosto as well.

buon ferragosto

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