News & Events

Buon Ferragosto!

Date 08.15.2015

Ferragosto, or Assumption Day, is an Italian national holiday celebrated on August 15. The term Ferragosto is derived from the Latin expression Feriae Augusti (Augustus’ rest), which is a celebration introduced by the emperor Augustus in 18 BC. This was an addition to already extant 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 ancient Ferragosto had the purpose of linking the main August festivities to provide a longer period of rest, called Augustali, which was felt necessary after the hard labour of the previous weeks.
Traditionally, Ferragosto marks the start of Italy’s vacation period so if you’re in a city during the second half of August, you may find a number of restaurants and shops closed for vacation, “chiuso per ferie.”