August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, is a national holiday in Italy. Like many other Christian celebrations, it is built upon the crumbled foundation of ancient traditions.
In modern times, Ferragosto is the jumping off day for Italians to escape stifling apartments and head for holiday al mare or in montagna—the sea or the mountains.
August is the worst time for foreigners to explore Italian cities because mostly they’ll encounter overheated, testy tourists like themselves. The living spirit of the cities has been drained out like the color from a faded photograph. [Read more…]