August is a very popular month for Italian vacations. In fact, many Italians leave their cities in August to reach tourist destinations and finally get some rest. But what has changed during the passage of time? What happened in the past? Read this article called “Italians’ August Vacations” to know more about Italian vacations and habits!
Have you ever heard that Italy stops in August? August is the holiday month par excellence, a month during which offices, schools and factories close and cities empty.
Talking with one of my students who is from northern Europe, I realized how much this particular Italian habit is looked at with curiosity but also with a touch of envy by other people we might consider more ‘industrious’.
Italians’ holidays today
Although the holiday habit of Italians in August persists (especially for civil servants) this phenomenon has definitely decreased compared to the past. The factors include: greater flexibility in work, the possibility of taking shorter holidays but spread throughout the year and the opportunity to take advantage of the discounts of the low season.
But what is most noticeable is a radical change in the habits and customs of Italians. Whereas during the 1980s there was a real race to get a beach house and spend entire summers in the same place year after year, now people prefer to experience new and different places.
Italians’ holidays in the past
Italians’ holidays in August used to be characterized by real summer exoduses. At the beginning of August, everyone would leave and the cities would empty out completely for people to go to holiday resorts (where one might own a house) or to one’s places of origin to visit loved ones. So, imagine these kilometer-long queues on the motorways, this sea of people moving around in small, uncomfortable cars but overjoyed to finally enjoy some well-deserved rest.
In this regard, an image that always makes me smile is the one my father tells me about, who in the hot Italian summers of the 1970s used to leave Turin for Apulia in a small Fiat 500 in which there were no less than four adults, their luggage and no air conditioning. In short, what we today would call ‘a journey of hope’!
But who was staying in town in August?
Well, it’s easy to imagine… The less well-off who, even if they couldn’t afford a holiday for a few days, could enjoy the beauty of their city undisturbed, just as director Nanni Moretti shows in his film Caro Diario!
Do periods like ‘Italian August’ exist in your country? Or are holidays spread throughout the year? Leave your comments, I will be happy to read them and answer you!
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