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  • Ferragosto is Italy’s annual summer holiday, celebrated Aug. 15 with a complete shuttering of work places save for coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and beach establishments. This is the one day of the year when the streets of Rome are deliciously empty. This year the holiday is all the more important, for it marks the second millennium since the death of the Emperor Augustus. Italy is commemorating the celebration in museums, conferences, and restorations of places associated with Augustus and his age.
  • Facts & Stories
    Judith Harris(August 13, 2012)
    Ferragosto – the name derives from the original Feriae Augusti summer festival proclaimed by the Emperor Augustus – is a major holiday celebrated on August 15 when all of Italy shuts down, and streets are deserted. This peak of summer holidays is what the media pros call “the silly season,” when reporters are allowed a long leash for gossip in the absence of hard news.
  • August 15th is, next to Christmas, Easter and New Years, probably the most important holiday in Italy. On the day when Roman Catholics believe the Virgin Mary is supposed to have ascended to heaven, the entire country shuts and everybody parties.