A backpacker walks in front of the Colosseum in the Italian capital, which is emptying for the summer vacations, in what is known as ‘Ferragosto’, Rome, Italy. Ferragosto is an Italian public holiday celebrated on 15 August, coinciding with the major Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary.
By metonymy, it is also the summer vacation period around mid-August, which may be a long weekend (‘ponte di ferragosto’) or most of August with a lot of ‘chiuso per ferie’ signs popping up all over the place.
Ferragosto, the Italian name for the holiday, comes from the Latin Feriae Augusti (the festivals of the Emperor Augustus) which were introduced back in 18 BC.
Photo: EPA-EFE/Massimo Percossi