FERRAGOSTO - LET'S CELEBRATE MID SUMMER

Why do we have the day off today? The Local looks at the history behind Ferragosto, and how you can celebrate the day like an Italian.

What are we celebrating?

August 15th is when Roman Catholics celebrate the Assumption of the virgin Mary into Heaven - the day when Catholics believe Mary ascended to heaven "body and soul" after the end of her life on earth.

However, it was a holiday in Italy long before it took on a religious significance.

Ferragosto, the Italian name for the holiday, comes from the Latin Feriae Augusti (the festivals of the Emperor Augustus) which were introduced back in 18 BC, probably to celebrate a battle victory, and were celebrated alongside other ancient Roman summer festivals. These festivities were linked to the longer Augustali period - intended to be a period of rest after months of hard labour.

Today, the holiday combines both its ancient Roman and Catholic roots; it also marks the semi-official start of Italy's summer holiday season.

Where’s everybody gone?

If you stay in town and wonder where everybody is...reach the closest beach (Lido di Venezia) and celebrate our lazy happy day like the italians do.

FERRAGOSTO - LET'S CELEBRATE MID SUMMER

LET'S CELEBRATE MID SUMMER