Hello, hola hola bonjour and happy  Ferragosto to you!

Wait, what exactly is Ferragosto?

When I first relocated to Europe, I was pleasantly taken aback by the prominence of August 15th as a holiday. It’s almost reminiscent of Christmas – a time when friends flood your inbox with texts and messages, all echoing the cheerful refrain of “Happy Ferragosto!” So, if you happen to be perusing this piece and are fortunate to have an Italian friend, now might be the perfect moment to drop them a quick text saying “Buon ferragosto!”

When August arrives, the warm sun and long days beckon people across Europe to embrace the holiday spirit. Amidst this vibrant summer atmosphere, Italy stands out for its unique and centuries-old tradition known as Ferragosto. Celebrated on the 15th of August, Ferragosto holds a special place in Italian culture and history, while also sharing connections with other European countries.

I personally didn’t know about it 17 years ago and it now become part of our lifestyle and culture to celebrate 15th of August so I decided to write this blog will delve into the significance of Ferragosto, its origins, and its enduring importance in Italy and beyond.

Fun fact: It was originally called Feriae Augusti and then called “Ferragosto” has its roots in ancient Rome, when Emperor Augustus introduced the “Feriae Augusti” festival in 18 BC. It was a time of rest, celebration, and entertainment. This festival was dedicated to the Roman deity Augustus, and celebrated with games, horse races, and other forms of entertainment. It was also a period of rest, meant to provide a break for the working class from their laborious routines. Italians take this seriously and literally, nobody works today, and most take the week off.

A Time of Togetherness

In Italy, Ferragosto is more than just a holiday; it’s a cherished tradition that brings families and friends together. It’s a day when communities gather for feasting, music, and various festivities. Many Italians take advantage of this public holiday to escape the cities and head to the countryside or coastal areas, seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. The nation virtually pauses, allowing people to unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of life ‘la dolce vita and the dolce fare niente” happens today.

One of the most iconic aspects of Ferragosto in Italy is the traditional Ferragosto meal. Families and friends gather around tables laden with delicious regional dishes, including pasta, seafood, fresh fruits, and wine. This culinary celebration is a testament to the deep connection Italians have with their culinary heritage, reinforcing the importance of shared moments and relationships.

Ferragosto and European Influence

While Ferragosto is quintessentially Italian, its influence has also spread to neighboring European countries. In France, for instance, a similar holiday called “Assumption Day” is celebrated on the same date, emphasizing the religious aspect of the holiday. In Spain, the holiday is known as “La Asunción” and is also celebrated with religious events and traditional feasts.

However is a normal day for Germans (for example my German husband is working all day today while I am in the pool with my daughters :))

The peak of tourism and the peak of yachting season too!

Furthermore, the significance of Ferragosto has transcended its historical and cultural origins. With the rise of global tourism, August 15th has become a peak travel period across Europe. Popular tourist destinations like coastal towns and historical sites in Italy and other European countries witness an influx of visitors, both domestic and international, seeking to experience the unique holiday spirit of the region.

Also, most yachts are fully booked this week as it is the peak date to charter a yacht.

Preserving Tradition in Modern Times

In today’s fast-paced world, Ferragosto continues to provide an essential reminder of the importance of rest, relaxation, and togetherness. It’s a time for Italians to escape the pressures of daily life, reconnect with loved ones, and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings. Moreover, it showcases the cultural and historical richness that defines Italy and the shared values that tie European countries together.

What I love about it is that Ferragosto not only allows Italians to pause and appreciate their cultural heritage but also invites the world to partake in the joyous spirit of the holiday. As August 15th approaches each year, the legacy of Ferragosto reminds us all of the importance of unity, tradition, and taking a moment to savor life’s simple pleasures, and what a best way to enjoy this than on a boat in Italy? Text me to organize your dream Dolce Vita yacht charter next year!

Across Italy, there are fireworks, open-air concerts, markets and fairs, and in some places is also a date for animal blessings, people bring their pets to churches to receive their blessings for health and protection.

So embrace the Italian dolce vita and enjoy Ferragosto!

 Now tell me, what do you do on the 15th of August?

Safe winds