August in Italy

It’s already mid-August here in Italy and so incredibly quiet around town. August is vacation month in Italy— everyone takes time off and stores are closed per ferie, or, for summer holiday. It’s not uncommon for most stores (of the mom-and-pop variety, which still make up the majority of the neighborhood) to shut down for the last two weeks of August. It usually starts on or around August 15, which is Ferragosto here. If you’re religious, it’s a day commemorating the Assumption of Mary, or for everyone else, it’s the celebration of the festival of Emperor Augustus. Either way, Italy shuts down and most businesses use it as the start of a minimum two-week vacation.

As I understand it, most Italians head to the beach, or possibly the mountains, if they live near us (Udine being very close to the Dolomites). To that end, it’s like a ghost-town here…even more than usual. To make matters worse, the weather seems to have changed already. It’s still rainy, but now there is a feeling of fall in the air. On drier evenings, there is a crispness resembling early autumn.

I personally feel a bit gypped, as summer is my favorite time of year. I love hot weather. The fact that it’s mid-August and already feeling like fall? That’s just a rip-off. I already have soup on the menu for dinner this week! Ugh.

Towards the end of July, we spent ten days in Cavo, on the island of Elba. The island is off the coast of Tuscany, and most for most days of our trip, it was sunny there, so we spent our time at the beach. Now, what little tan I had has already faded. Grrrr.

To try and stave off the feeling of fall, here’s a look at some of the (sunnier) photos from Elba. I, for one, will be gazing longingly at them while I eat my soup.