COSI: Ferragosto! Pirates, Family, And Eating Until You Explode

Ferragosto is celebrated on the 15th of August. It was originally a pagan thing like most of the holidays we celebrate (What!? I’m SORRY! It’s TRUE! What does a giant bunny with treats have to do with Jesus? Nothing! That’s what!). Ferragosto was celebrated clear back in Roman times as people thanked Goddess Diana and the God Vortumno for awesome crops and all of that. Woot! Now, Ferragosto is a day of picnics, fun, and family time. In our family it is often the day of stuffing your face for four or five or ten hours until you pretty much barf, or try to barf but can’t, or just eat , sleep and dream about barfing.

For me Ferragosto signifies something even cooler than crop celebration (although celebrating food is kind of a big deal, too). It also signifies the beginning of summer vacation for many of us. In Italy, a good number of citizens get around three weeks of vacation per year. Two weeks in August and one week in December. It’s kind of amazing and probably why the homicide rate is lower in Italy than in the US. I’d be less inclined to kill people if I got to go on vacation every August, too. Last year my husband and I went some friends to Barcelona and the south of France beginning on Ferragosto. We drove from Cassino all the way to Barcelona and back. We had a blast. We danced in a nightclub that was on the beach. I convinced everyone afterwards to go “kind of skinny dipping” in the Sea. Drunk. Which is basically the only way you can get me near water because SHARKS. Then we went to some other city that was really amazing that I can’t remember because I’m not a travel writer but it was cute. We rented a paddleboat with a plastic slide on top where I sat -perched like a dog on a floating door after a flood-surveying the area for SHARKS while the guys swam. In the south of France we visited Arles, Ax-En-Provence, and Montpellier. In Arles around 1 a.m. I dragged my husband out for a hot date (me in a leather skirt running up and down the back streets making motor boat noises and summoning sailers) and we almost became Pirates. Which was like a dream come true.

Ferragosto to me is a reminder that there is more to life than work and productivity. That there is family, friends, places to see, things to do, outside of an office and without deadlines. Much of the world could learn something from Ferragosto itself and the following weeks of vacation that allow people to be people again.


This Post Was Part Of Così (The expat mafia).

Check out what the other members of C.O.S.I had to say on the same subject.


15 thoughts on “COSI: Ferragosto! Pirates, Family, And Eating Until You Explode

  1. Great post Misty, I too like the idea of using a normally hot and stinky humid day in Italy as a reminder to step back a little and smell the bacon (or in my case the underarms on a public bus in Florence, the smell can almost seem SOLID).

    ps. crossing my fingers that you guys come and visit soon, I want to meet you in person!

  2. Pingback: My love-hate relationship with Ferragosto. | Married to Italy

  3. Pingback: Ferragosto | Englishman in Italy

  4. I tried to get Mrs Sensible to go skinny dipping but she politely declined… mind you we had just eaten at a restaurant. Mrs S is currently in Sicily and I am home alone, so I thought this would be a good time to diet, but so far I have been invited to somebody’s house every day and as a visitor they are feeding me as though I am unlikely to ever eat again…. Roll on weight I say… and happy Ferragosto to you

  5. All these posts on Ferragosto really make me want to go on vacation. Probably not the best thing to be reading at 10:50 pm on a Sunday night in August and it’s still 85° F outside. Hope you have a great vacation this year!

  6. Pingback: Insights into Ferragosto | Unwilling Expat

  7. Pingback: Ferragosto in Rome

  8. Hello there! I just wanted to say your blog is fabulous. I livd in Rome and moved here two years ago to obtain my italian citizenship. I lived in NYC and sometimes I wonder if I have lost my mind moving here! I work teaching english in Rome. Always looking to make new friends so its a pleasure to meet you!

  9. Pingback: Ferragosto | Karavansara

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