AUGUST MEANS VACATION
For many, if not most Italians, August means vacation. Those who live in the mountains head for the sea, while those who live in the big cities seem to head for the cool relief of the mountains. Many shops and restaurants will close for the entire month of August, and services will be limited. When friends recently went to an office in the comune they discovered the one and only person who can perform the service they needed is on vacation for the entire month of August. No one is replacing the vacationer, so the paperwork will just pile up until he returns. What a system!
Our neighbors left today for a week at the beach. I'm guessing the reason they won't be gone for the whole month is that they're retired and living on a fixed income. Our other neighbors, the ones who own the other half of our house, should be arriving soon. They live in Bologna, which is hot and humid in the summer. For them the breezes in San Venanzo and the chance to catch up with friends and family will make this month go much too quickly.
Our neighbor Adamo has already completed his vacation for the year...apparently some companies, including the health care industry, are now letting their employees take vacations in months other than August. Some enjoy the chance to save a bit of money and to visit during less crowded times, but I'm sure for many others, whose families still vacation in August, this presents a problem. Although medical facilities remain open in August, I wouldn't want to schedule an elective procedure during this time, just in case I ran into some doctor, nurse or technician who'd been 'forced' to take their vacation outside of the 'normal' time frame!
For us August signals the beginning of the end of summer. Yes, the fruits and vegetables are at their height, and everything is plentiful and cheap. but unlike Kentucky, where summer seems to last well into September, and often October, summer here seems to know that once the page turns from August to September, summer is really over. I love the idea that the new olive oil will be here soon, and the idea of cool nights, but the shorter days are not something I look forward to, or the cold wet days of winter. Okay, enough of that.....for now it's August...time to savor the long hot days of summer while we still can!