The month of August in Italy is the month when everyone takes vacation. It is not uncommon for businesses to be closed for the entire month (or at least a couple weeks). Public transportation runs on a modified and less frequent schedule since there are not as many people in the cities, and the city feels almost empty. I am still trying to figure out how the country can function when everyone is off in August. OK, not EVERYONE is off work for the month….but at some point or another during the month of August, it seems that most people take a week or two (or three) off work.
Where do all the people go?? Good question. Many people go to the coast or to the mountains, some go out of the country to other European coastal destinations, but *I think* most people visit family in the small towns. The point is just to get out of the city and have some sort of retreat for the mind/soul.
The 15th of August is the holiday celebrating the month for vacation–known as Ferragosto. *I love Italy* So, even if you don’t take a vacation in August, you’ll at least have ONE long weekend to escape the busy city life.
We were so blessed to be invited by Italian friends from church to join them in their vacation over the weekend of the 15th. We went to a small town of 300 people called Pietragavina. The region where it is located is famous for their salami. Mmmmm. It is a BEATIFUL town on a hill that embodies how I envisioned small-town Italy prior to coming to this country. I would never do it justice describing it with my words, so I’ll include some pictures.
We spent a wonderful couple of days with friends from church and felt so welcomed and loved. For me personally, it was a special time of bonding with some other Christian women. Of course I look forward to more bonding when language isn’t quite as big of a barrier, but it was still so good to connect on some level to someone other than my husband. I love David, but he’s not a girl. 🙂 It was so nice to see some things that are universal among women: talking about hairstyles, shaving legs, matchmaking, etc., but also to soak in and realize some of the differences.
We both came back from the weekend refreshed and encouraged. Afterwards we were able to understand a *little* better the concept of August as the vacation month. 🙂