Many of you have realized that traveling to Europe in August may not be the best idea. Many people take a holiday during the month of August, and a lot of businesses shut down for the month. Here in Italy, it is no different. There is a holiday on August 15th called "Ferragosto" which celebrates the assumption of Mary. It is a national holiday in Italy and everything closes on that day. Really, most businesses shut down completely for at least that week, if not the entire month of August. Thankfully, the grocery stores are still open! But all of the small businesses near our house were shut down at the end of July, and re-open around August 27th.
|Cinque Terre (just one of the many places that will be packed|
full of people)
Most people take this opportunity to flee the stiflingly hot cities and head to the sea or mountains. Resorts are completely packed, and the sea is full of Italians sun bathing and enjoying their vacation. Ferragosto is celebrated typically with a feast or bbq and spending time with friends and family on the sea. For Josh and me it will be no different. We have found an amazing hotel north of Venice that we will visit for the week. Thankfully, there is a pool!! Lots of swimming in store for this preggo lady, I can't wait! We are now officially in the hottest time of the year. Thankfully, it will be over in a couple of weeks (at least I'm hoping!).
|Liguria (west of Genoa), another beach that will be packed!!|
So, word to the wise! If you plan on traveling to Europe in August, expect many places to be shut down in the big cities, resorts to be more expensive than normal, and TONS of Europeans to be crowding the seas and lakes. We are now officially in the peak tourist season of Italy (mainly European tourists). People here really enjoy their holidays and they make a big deal out of taking at least two weeks off every year to relax. This is a new mentality for me that was difficult to get used to. Americans typically don't take more than a few days off from work at a time, let alone taking 2-4 weeks off in the summer. I could definitely get on board with the European mentality though :)