I have been lucky to have enjoyed a few Ferragosto holidays in Italy and I will always remember them. I recall on the evening of my first Ferragosto, after celebrating all day with my relatives sitting at one of the longest family dining tables I have ever sat at, eating course after course of truly magnificient summer offerings which I thought would never end, I realised that everyone needs a celebration at the height of summer. I suppose for us, its Christmas and Boxing Day but for the Italians, its Ferragosto. That evening I lay in my bed in the room I shared with my brother. I lay quietly weeping. My brother called out to me to ask what was wrong and my response was desperate... "I'm so full." A not uncommon sensation felt in my ancestral village!
When my mum first went to Italy in 1974 with dad, she enjoyed a glorious picnic day high in the Abruzzo mountains. We have faded photos of her chomping on a giant semicircle of luscious watermelon with the panorama of the Maiella mountain behind her. She remembers that in the afternoon, rain started to fall and the hundreds of people enjoying a mountain picnic jumped in their cars, all heading down the winding mountain road...at the same time. A true Italian Ferragosto traffic jam.
So for my friends and relatives in Italy - happy Ferragosto. I hope it is a day of rest, family, fun and of course....those glorious tastes of summer.