Doing business in italy? Not in august!

door Regina Coeli

Do you have business contacts in Italy? Do you take into consideration the fact that government authorities and businesses are more or less closed for business as from 15 August? Most Italians go on holiday around Ferragosto which is an important religious holiday.

Celebrating Ferragosto

“Ferragosto is one of the most important religious holidays in Italy”, explains Claudia Cardinali, language trainer in the Italian Department. “Ferragosto is actually a day of rest, a day when all Italians take time off work and leave the towns for the coast or the mountains. Schools, offices, factories, businesses, and many of the shops are closed! The word comes from ‘feriae Augusti’ which means ‘rest day in August’: a day for celebrating the end of the harvesting season.

Large festivals are held everywhere around this time with concerts and performances for the visitors. ‘Sagre’ festivals are organised mainly in the villages and this is where local products are prepared and served. Heathen and religious traditions come together on this day: 15 August is the day on which Maria’s ascension into heaven is celebrated, and processions are held in many villages.”

Summer holiday in Italy

“Most Italians take time off around Ferragosto and the majority of them stay in Italy. This is not surprising because Italy has lots of beautiful countryside to offer holidaymakers. And besides, Italians are of the opinion that they should only go abroad once they know their own country really well.”

Lots of Italians go either to the coast or to the mountains because the climate there is pleasant during the hot summer months. Actually, Italians avoid the hottest part of the day by having a long, drawn-out lunch indoors, and staying out of the sun. “In the summertime, it’s very easy to recognise Northern Europeans. They usually go sightseeing or sunbathe in the hot midday sun. That is unthinkable for the Italians!” Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Holiday tip: Southern Italy

Here’s a tip from Claudia Cardinali for everyone who loves Italy. “Lots of people never go further south than Tuscany which is a shame because Southern Italy is so beautiful. Personally, I love Puglia and Sicilië. The traditions and culture of the area as well as the warmth of the locals are things that stand out for me. People are eager to start up a conversation. If you want to get to know Italy, you have to experience it yourself!”

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