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Buon Ferragosto a Tutti!

Date 08.14.2019

Ferragosto is a public holiday celebrated on August 15 in Italy that coincides with the major Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary. The Feriae Augusti (“Festivals [Holidays] of the Emperor Augustus”) were introduced by the emperor Augustus in 18 BC. This was an addition to earlier ancient Roman festivals which fell in the same month, such as the Vinalia rustica or the Consualia, which celebrated the harvest and the end of a long period of intense agricultural labor. The Feriae Augusti, was felt necessary after the hard labor of the previous weeks.

The popular tradition of taking a trip during Ferragosto arose under the Fascist regime. In the second half of the 1920s, during the mid-August period, the regime organized hundreds of popular trips through the Fascist leisure and recreational organizations of various corporations, and via the setting up of the “People’s Trains of Ferragosto”, which were available at discounted prices. The initiative gave the opportunity to less well-off social classes to visit Italian cities or to reach seaside and mountain resorts.

Today, Ferragosto is Italy’s famous summer holiday period when most kids are on school holidays and families, business owners and frankly, most Italians, pack their bags and cars and head out of town.