“Ferragosto” falls on the 15th August and is to celebrate the feast of the Assumption. It is roughly equivalent to the British August Bank Holiday, and when the whole of Italy grinds to a halt. In more affluent times many Italians would take the whole of the month of August as their holiday, still many shops and business post up notices “Chiuso Per Ferie”, meaning closed for the holidays. However in these days, with the present problems and the “crisi” in Italy many families can only afford to take a week or so as holidays, some only a day or two around Ferragosto.
It’s name is derived from the Latin phrase “Feriae Augusti” as its origins date right back to pre-Christian times when the emperor Octavian Augustus declared the period to be a a day of rest back in 18 BC. Other Roman summer festivals included the “Vinalia Rustica” or the “Consualia” which celebrated the harvest and the successful end of the agricultural season.
Italians spend Ferragosto celebrating with family and friends and always a large meal is somehow included. This year we were very kindly invited to join our friends Pauline and Filippo, who also live in the countryside around Itri. This is the view from their house.
It seemed that most of their family were also invited.
These lovely ladies are in their late 80’s !!!
Of course there is always an animated conversion.
Preparing the Barbecue
Of course, it goes without saying, that there were copious amounts of delicious food …..
By the end of it we were fit for bursting !!!
Then it was somebody’s great idea to start again and to go and make some more !!!
“Mamma Mia !!!”
Thank you to Pauline and Filippo and all the family for including us in their Ferragosto celebrations.
Happy Holidays !!!
All photos by me © Louise Shapcott
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