Ferragosto is a public holiday celebrated 15th of August in all Italy . The word ferragosto derives from latin “feriae augusti”, that simply means august rest, after a long and intens period of harvesting. It also coincides with the Catholic celebration for the Assumption of Mary. It was introduced as holiday period by emperor Augusts 18 BC, that was celebrated with village feasts, jousts and horse races all across the nation. The Palio in Siena 16th of August is also called Palio di Assunta, a celebration of the holy Mary and the beginning of the summer holidays. Today ferragosto marks the beginning of the industrial holiday season in whole Italy. Most local people head to the seaside for summer holidays and a traveler may find many shops and restaurants closed in the hinterland and generally less people in towns further away from the sea side. The hectic summer life is now concentrated around the coastal area, where most summer happenings are organised. In towns and countryside people often celebrate ferragosto with family, dining out in gardens or going out for to Pic Nic.
And what’s on the menu:
Panzanella, pappa al pomodoro, fried vegetables, fresh summer salads, grilled meats or fresh hand made tortelli ! And COCOMERO, the wonderful Italian water melon, huge in size, fresh, sweet and delicious! In some areas cocomero is shared out free for the feasting crowds!