Chiuso per Ferie
And so it begins….this week will really be the official empty out of the city, which people gearing up for their vacations and many shops shutting down. It always amazes me that a lot of visitors still don’t know about the phenomena of late August vacation, so let me explain. August 15 is what’s know as Ferragosto and it signifies the start of everyone’s summer vacations. If you are a small store owner, this is when you can safely shut down (since everyone is out of town anyway) and enjoy your few weeks of vacation. This tabbachi on via Nazionale has a typical sign up that you’ll start seeing everywhere. “Chiuso per ferie,” or “Closed for vacation” from August 10 until September 5 and then it gives you a listing of other tabbachi in the area that will be open when they are not. That’s important to remember, that usually the area grocery stores, tabbachi, newsstands, and pharmacy’s actually rotate the weeks that they are on vacation so when one isn’t open, another around the street will be. More and more since I’ve been here people are loosening up the rules of vacation. It’s not just strictly August 15 anymore, in fact this year I know a record number of Italians still working all month (they either took their vacation in July or will in September). I was in Venice last year on Ferragosto and there were tons of things open, but it still empties out most of the residents. I’m almost always in Rome during this time and I actually love it! Yes it’s hot, but no hotter in July and it just means no traffic and fewer crowds. After months battling the tourists and the rest of the residents in boiling heat, it’s a nice break to be honest.