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August Getaway

Discussion in 'General Discussion About Italy' started by Chillout, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. I was reading an article this morning that states that 2 out of 3 Italians are staying at home rather than going away for the August Holiday.

    As many will know, August is traditionally the month where many non touristic businesses close and workers get between 3 - 4 weeks off work.

    Are you going away this August or are you relaxing at home?
  2. This year, I plan on going on small trips, city breaks actually.
    I actually work during the summer but I think it's better that way. It's peak season, everything is booked and overpriced, it's crowded everywhere you go (when I went to the seaside for 1 day last month, I could barely spot a spot on the beach to lay down my beach towel!)

    I have also seen, on the news, how crowded the highways are!

    I wonder why everyone takes the highway when they know they will spend hours in line because of the many many people going away this period.
  3. I have many Italian friends and almost all of them will be staying home or else just spend time with family and friends in their own neighborhoods. The current situation of the economy tends to dampen spirits a little and even a short visit to places like Naples and Sicily reveal a tangible somber mood all around.
  4. I too am at home this year but am taking lots of day trips to at least feel like I am on holiday.

    My friends rented an apartment by the sea in pugila for 2 weeks in July and it cost €600.

    I asked them for the number of the owner and I called him to query prices. He wanted €1200 for the same apartment just because it was in August!

    In fact, the small town where I live is actually busy compared to recent years when it is normally empty.
  5. Wow, he asked for double the price!
    I'm willing to bet the apartment is already rented :D People still go on vacation, no matter if they have or don't have the money to do so.

    I, for one, like to think I'm more practical and prefer to wait for peak season to be over.

    Also, I think many Italians have no choice anyway and maybe that's why everyone is going away this period.
    Many workplaces close for 1-2-3 weeks during August. I see closed window shops everywhere! Including Tabacchis, bars, pizzerias etc.

    So, you either go on vacation now, or you don't go at all :D
  6. The sad fact is yes, many workers are forced to take their main holidays in August as most businesses close.

    It's not just the prices that put me off it's also the stress factor.

    Everywhere you go is full, overpriced and trying to find parking spaces in tourist areas can be a real nightmare.

    I also believe that service lacks a little when eating out as most places are running at full capacity and simply are stretched due to demand.
  7. That's also true, people are everywhere, you can't find a table to eat, can't find a spot on the beach, can't park your car etc.

    I went on a city break to see the seaside a month ago and when I got close to the parking zone near the beach I almost fainted! :D It wasn't even peak season but cars were parked everywhere! There was no way I would have found a parking spot without paying (which was my intention :p) so I drove around for almost half an hour and entered on of those subterranean parking lots.
  8. Wow. I learn something new every day. I guess only non tourist places close, but for someone going to visit at that time (hypothetical) it would still seem kind of depressing to find many places closed.

    Visited Venice a long time ago and although I didn't know this at that time, I did notice many businesses closed and to me, it felt a bit sad.
  9. It IS sad.
    So many places closed down in my neighborhood, it almost feels like I'm living in a ghost town!
    It's just a habit of Italians, this doesn't happen in other countries. At least, not east-European countries, that's for sure.

    The funny thing is that, with the crisis and all the problems many business have, it almost seems like everyone went broke when instead, they are probably at the seaside somewhere :D

    I'm especially sorry when clothes shops close down for the summer. I always say "I'll go there tomorrow" and then suddenly, they closed down to bring in the new clothes collection!
  10. Most of the shops are open in my small town in August but they are only open in the morning.

    Supermarkets are open as normal but some pizzerias are closed.

    I think the thing we have to remember here is that most workers have not really had any significant holiday since Christmas. That's 7 months with no real break apart from the odd public holiday.

    Also traditionally, August is the hottest month so it makes sense that everyone wants to escape.

    I guess most non tourist / non essential services prefer to close and the majority of staff take their holiday at the same time.
  11. I'm staying at work this august (my company it's closed just for the 16 of august), I expect this week a really quiet Town :D
  12. I just arrived in Milan a few days ago and I must say that I enjoy the city like this. It is true, Rosie, it feels a bit like a ghost town, but I somehow find it refreshing.

    When the city is empty you end up paying attention to details you wouldn't otherwise and it is wonderful to be able to go out on a bicycle without worrying about cars and traffic. The silence you can experience these days is also a unique present, if you consider how noisy the city gets when it is busy with people and vehicles.

    Even some of the major streets around the centre of the city are deserted at times of the day that would usually be considered rush hours, making it look like a movie set. Yesterday, for example, as I was biking my way to the Duomo at around eight thirty in the evening I caught myself smiling as I was looking around at the empty streets, imagining how I could come back with a camera and film a scene for a music video. The empty streets reminded me of one of the opening scenes from the movie "Open your eyes"-by Amenábar, the original spanish movie out of which they made the remake "Vanilla Sky" with Tom Cruise-a scene which later proves to be a dream where one of Madrid's busiest streets is completely empty.

    I don't know, maybe in a few days the poetry of it all will start to wear off, but for now I am enjoying it-and enjoying also sharing it with you here!
    Chillout likes this.
  13. Some cities are empty and some are full.

    This is a view of Verona this evening and have to say it's rather busy!

  14. Well, it's still very quiet around here, I'm actually trying to enjoy the emptiness of the city while it lasts :D
    I specifically remember last year, when it was quiet for 31 days... then on the 1st of September - boom - instant soup of people! :p

    Verona does look busy!
    So did Rome, on the 15th, I've seen it on the news.
    Last Thursday, all day long, I had this feeling, like everyone was eaten by zombies and I was the only one still alive, it was SO quiet. Then, I saw how crowded Rome was with tourists, Italians, the locals... everyone was roaming the streets.

    @Arturo Denta, I also love it when there are no cars or too many people to watch out for when riding the bicycle, I don't often take my bike, but riding it in August is such a pleasure!
    Arturo Denta likes this.
  15. I feel like Milan is slowly becoming more populated.. and in a way, I am a bit sad...
    When the city is empty you get a feeling like you can establish this personal relationship with it–in Italian I would say with "her", since the word we have for it, città, is a feminine noun. A relationship where you can let silence speak for the lovers :D
    @Rosie, not riding a bike in August in our cities seems almost like a sin :cool:
  16. I find it amazing that almost all of Italy can shut down for 3 weeks and go on vacation. That can definitely be beneficial for quality of life. I get August off as I work in education and I don't always go out of town for vacation, I call them staycations.
  17. I'm used to the idea now, but at first it was so weird for me to see how one day the city's full and the next... ghost town! For almost an entire month! Amazing indeed. Actually, my mom used to work in education too, so it was normal for us to be at home during the summer, but my dad wasn't and then, when I began to work, I wasn't :p

    Although they say we still live in difficult time, people still find a way to just do something, during the summer and during the winter too, when on vacation.
    There's a downside though, for the people living in touristy cities :p Can you imagine your city filling up with hundreds of people everywhere all of a sudden? :D Must not be that relaxing for everyone...
  18. This year we did small trips frequently. It was awesome because as a family we were able to see a lot of new things and we never got bored as there was always something new! Plus a couple days at home relaxing in there - the benefit of small trips! My brother goes away every august to the Netherlands. He loves it there and always finds something fun to do and some new friends. :)
  19. Do you think that Italians are staying home due to financial reasons? I traveled to Italy years ago and stayed in a small southern town. I remember when August came the town practically shut down, I couldn't believe it.
    I know a lot of Italians save their vacations to go away during this month, but I was sure it if was for extended periods of time, short weekend trips or if they just stayed local but took a break.

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