Ferragosto

15 Aug

Ferragosto is an Italian holiday celebrated on August 15 and coincides with the major Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary. For many Italians, it is their summer vacation period and a time when many places of business also close their doors for vacation.

The Feriae Augusti, from which Ferragosto takes its name, comes from the “Festivals or Holiday of the Emperor Augustus” which was introduced in 18 BC.  The Feriae Augusti linked the various August festivals to provide a longer period of rest, called Augustali, which was felt necessary after the hard labour of the previous summer weeks.

Crowds flock to Cortona for this holiday, as they can enjoy live bands in the piazzas, various exhibits, and most of all, the Sagra della Bistecca held in the public gardens. This year numbers 57.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Large open grills, built for the occasion, become the center of attraction in the public gardens. Those tending to the grills are seasoned veterans, and know just when to turn the bistecca. Seared on the outside, very rare in the middle.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

For 28 euro, you get a bistecca, potatoes, choice of beans or tomatoes, a peach, and some vino.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Family and friends come together at long canopied tables to celebrate the holiday and share stories and laughter.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Like every festival, there is music, even if just one man and his many accouterments.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

After dinner, many walk through town to marvel at the ancient city’s beauty.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

And if your family is like mine, and a peach doesn’t quite qualify as dessert, it’s time for gelato.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Even the weather contributed to the weekend’s success  – bright blue skies, hot sun, and low humidity.

If you are thinking of Italy next summer, remember Cortona and Ferragosto.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

And if rare bistecca isn’t your thing, coming next weekend: the porcini festival!

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

 

11 Responses to “Ferragosto”

  1. alexis maude August 15, 2016 at 5:54 PM #

    Looks like fun and made me feel so nostalgic for our wonderful visit!

    Love and miss you!!

    Alexis Colianni amcolianni@gmail.com phone: 630.779.0612

    >

    Like

  2. Sandra August 15, 2016 at 6:23 PM #

    Thank gawd we’re not there yet!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

    • blogginginitaly August 16, 2016 at 4:49 AM #

      There would be tons for you to pick up:) Actually, the clean up went very well. You’d be impressed.

      Like

  3. jean August 15, 2016 at 8:01 PM #

    Oh Judy! We’d love to be there in August but Larry and Carrol have our little cottage right now. Give them a hug for us!

    Like

  4. karenincalabria August 15, 2016 at 9:38 PM #

    I’m not much on rare bistecca, but I must say that I really like the look of those huge grills!

    Like

  5. Royce Larsen August 15, 2016 at 10:02 PM #

    The size of the barbecue was very impressive
    I am sure the tasting was worth the waiting
    Thank you

    Like

    • blogginginitaly August 16, 2016 at 4:47 AM #

      Truth be told, I am not much of a beef eater, especially rare/nearly raw, but enjoyed watching all those who love their bistecca!

      Like

  6. Sally August 16, 2016 at 1:56 PM #

    Can’t wait to meet you and Len, and our time there!
    Love the poster:)

    Liked by 1 person

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