Get Out of Town

😀 Happy Ferragosto! 😀

Non-Italian blog-reader: “The hell is Ferragosto ‘sposed to mean?”

Me: “Whoa, calm down! No need to take a surely tone with me! What are you stressed-out today? You need a vacation or something? Well, lucky for you, it’s Ferragosto!”

Non-Italian blog reader: “But I still have no Idea what the fu…”

Me: “Auu! I’m getting to that! Geesh!”

Ferragosto means summer vacation time in Italy! It’s a holiday that takes place on August 15th – smack dab in the middle of the month. It’s kind of a weird holiday because there are no special cakes, no special songs, no special gifts, no special anything. It’s just sort of a national “let’s close up shop and head to the beach” day. The only real way that you’d ever know it was Ferragosto would be if you tried to go to the local pharmacy, bar, post office, or shoe store. Everything, everything, is closed! You find empty stores, empty piazzas, and empty streets and not only on the actual day of Ferragosto. Places close for the weeks before and after the holiday as well! The only thing you’ll see are lots of these “closed for vacation” signs.

If you didn’t speak Italian and didn’t know that “chiuso per ferie” means “closed for vacation”, you might erroneously believe that all of Italy has caught the plague and that the Italians have decided to announce this woeful fate by means of hanging up whimsical, neon-colored signs everywhere! You’d think to yourself “Oh, those colorful Italians”, as you began to apprehensively second-guess your stuffed up nose.

Now, please don’t freak out if you’ve planned your summer vacation to Italy during the month of August. More touristy places and the shops in the city centers are often at least partially open. And the beaches are most definitely booming! Let’s just say it’s not the best time to visit Italy. Also, because it’s hot as balls!

As a matter of fact I’m not even in Italy right now! I wrote this blog post ahead of time and pre-programmed it to publish today. I’ve been on the beach in Croatia for a week already, soaking up the sun. Now I’m in Amsterdam, and then I’m heading back to Italy with some good friends from the USA. Even though we get back to Italy after Ferragosto, we’re still on the tail end of the summer vacation period. My only problem is going to be trying to find a restaurant to bring my visiting friends to that will actually be open!

What are you guys getting up to this summer? Leave me a comment!


18 thoughts on “Get Out of Town

  1. Amsterdam will certainly give you cooler weather! I’m not sure if you’re a foodie or have any interest in . . . salt, hundreds of kinds of salt. There’s a fun little salt boutique in Amsterdam that sells only salt. It’s within walking distance of the centrum: Salsamentum, Spaarndammerstraat 34. Closed on Mondays. You can google it. The owner speaks English.

    Then again, maybe you only have time for the torture museum, the hash museum, the sex museum, and partying etc. 😉 Enjoy!

    • Oh boy, am I ever a foodie! 😉

      Thanks for the tip! I’m gonna try and check it out!

      Honestly, I’m keeping this part of my vacation a combination of culture and partying. Amsterdam is amazing though. I could totally live here!

  2. Hiya Garrett, you will be happy to hear there are plenty of Italians visiting Boston this August, especially northern Italians. It’s been so fun to meet people in Back Bay and to hear so much Italian spoken on Newbury and Boylston. They are of course visiting NY and then popping up to Boston for a few days, and they seem to be enjoying themselves. Benvenuti!

  3. Ciao Garrett !
    I just found your blog and LOVE it ! My husband and I are planning to retire in Italy soon. Your blog is an excellent source for people wanting to know what it’s like to live in Italia. I’m going to pass you around to some of my friends 🙂 Enjoy your holiday !!

  4. Ciao! Chiedo scusa in anticipo per la domanda estemporanea e per stare scrivendo in italiano (scusa il francesismo, ma ho pestato troppe merde in inglese, ultimamente!). Vorrei sapere: fino a che punto l’essere cresciuto in un paese così diverso ti impone dei limiti? Ti faccio un esempio stupido: hai presente il film notte prima degli esami? Ecco, già il non aver dato la maturità te lo ha rovinato? (Te l’ho detto che era un esempio stupido…) Scusa (per la terza volta) ancora, ma ho fatto lingue al liceo, e certe cose mi incuriosiscono! (ora che ci penso, magari ci sei pure passato davanti, alla mia scuola, nei tuoi primi anni in Italia!)
    Grazie per l’attenzione!

    • Ciao Giulia! Non c’è nessun ragione di chiedermi scusa. Tranquilla!

      Allora, penso che le differenze culturale possono sicuramente avere il loro impatto su cosa è che ci fa ridere.
      Nel caso specifico del film di cui hai fatto riferimento tu, direi che, almeno per me, ho goduto il film ma ogni tanto i miei amici italiani ridevano mentro io non ho capito cosa c’era di così divertente. La maggior parte erano riferimenti culturale. Cioè: mentre capivo tutto, magari non ho sempre capito tutte le battute.

      Da noi non c’e la maturità, ma abbiamo le SAT (un esame per entrare a università). Non è esattamente la stessa cosa, ma posso capire lo stress dei ragazzi del film lo stesso!

      Ora tocca a me chiedere scusa (perchè sono sicuro che ci sono errori in italiano). 🙂

  5. Hey Garrett, I’m an italian girl who has been 5 times in the U.S. and loving the lenguage, people ect. and wishing to go back. I found your blog by chance, even if, to be honest, I was browsing for girly ones..Well, I totally loved it! I had a blast reading about the ferragosto dialogue with a non italian blog reader, and about the anus-penis issue. I had never thought about that, and I am very interested in learing the other side’s perspective. Don’t think you’re the only embarassed one though. I remember very clearly myself yelling “Basta!” to my annoying little brother in a high class hotel lounge in America once, and everybody staring at me..I guess you get the tricking english word yourself..Well, guess I’m gonna subscribe and come back. Wanna join me on my travel and cinema therapy blogs, written a lot in italian and a few in english? I’d appreciate if you would, and would like a cultural-linguistic e-exchange.
    See ya!

    p.s. For the stuardess, I think bed&breakfasts or better agriturismi would make a good solution, I know of lots of people renting them on a daily based price, even for long periods, and actually living there in a part-time shedule. They are usually nice and calm spots, where you’re indipendent but you got it all. Not so cheap, but very comfortable places where you can live.

    • Hi Dujour and grazie mille for your comment! I think I can well guess what the Americans thought you said when you yelled “basta”. 😉

      I’m glad you find my blog interesting and I’ll definitely be checking out yours (probably more the travel one than the cinema one). I’m not really that into cinema, but who knows? Maybe I’ll learn something new!


      • Hey, so you’re from Boston, right? one of my fave cities in the states ‘cuz it seems the right one to live in, not too big, not too small, lots of culture in there, calm pepole.. I used to joke a lot w/ a friend from there ’cause of the looong and opened vowels. He was like. “I’m from Baaaaastn!”
        Anyways..thanks a lot for passing by and leaving your message, I hope you will come back in the future, so I will try and update my travel blog too. Did you subscribe? I hope you’ll do! Keep in touch

      • Yes, I’m from Boston, and yes, we are known for our strange accent. 😉 Boston is a pretty cool city and has a more Europeany feel than many other USA destinations. Europeans people tend to enjoy it.

        I’ll be sure to check out your cinema blog too!

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