Wednesday, August 03, 2005

In Italy, August Sucks.

Don't ever come to Italy during the month of August. In Italy, the month of August is reserved for what is known as "ferie". Seemingly the entire population of Italy takes anywhere from two weeks to a full month off for holiday and heads for either the mountains or the beach. Almost every single store, hotel, bar and ristorante closes, sometimes for the entire month of August. Walking around some cities is almost like being in a ghost town. It almost has to be seen to be believed.

For us it's not a disaster because we get most of what we need on the base, but for people who live and like to do things on the economy, it can be very frustrating and inconvenient sometimes. Two nights ago the wife was too tired to cook so the X Man and I headed out to pick up a couple pizzas. We went to Antonio's. It was closed. We went to another one down the street, it was closed. We went to a third one, closed as well. I ended up driving for almost a half hour before I found a pizzeria that was open.

On the bright side, the drive home from work is not quite as bad because there are a lot less cars on the road. And I've noticed a subtle change over the five years that I've been here in that each year there seems to be one or two more places staying open in August. As long as there's one bar and one pizza place in town open, I'm happy.



Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

I think that pretty spells the whole of Europe Rik, unfortunately. Them Europeans have a 3 month downtime in a year, June-July-August. Every company expects to write off revenues, small shops are closed for weeks, train services are cut, and turn around time on anything related to business-work is slow. During summer, work is just not the priority, but vacationing.

What the country did however is divide the school holidays into 2, north and south. The south covers from the center down south and so is the north. Schools in the south gets to holiday earlier, in fact they were just done. Now, its the north's turn to holiday. The Dutch did this in order to keep the sanity in the country, or else no one would be working!!! The parents would be off holidaying with their kids, haha. Well, I guess also to keep the sanity in the European highways because you can just imagine it clogged with NL plates cars and caravans, haha.

By the way, got it, I'm on it in awhile.

Ed Abbey said...

As someone who absolutely hates crowded places, I think it sounds kind of nice to be in a city with nobody around. Of course I'll just have to remember to bring along food.

But there is a big difference I can't help but point out. Italians go to the seaside or mountains, while Americans go to Disneyland or some other amusement park. When I go to the mountains in the summer here, I thankfully have the place to myself.

Blog ho said...

you should open a business for those 2 weeks! you'd make a killing.