It is agosto, August, time stops here. I read some complaints on Facebook expat groups about the fact you can’t get anything done now because everyone is on vacation. You might be surprised, but really everything does stop. Go to your bank. There are no tellers. All construction stops. Factories close. Everyone is at the beach or in the mountains. My comment to the complainer, who said Italy can’t progress because of this stupid August thing, was to say, Viva la difference. Although it can and is frustrating to live in a culture so unlike the culture in the US. The very nature of the inconveniences make Italy, Italy. I didn’t move here for convenience and US sameness. I moved here precisely for the differences. For 45 years I worked in the “progressive” USA and fought for a work/life balance. Who is to say the crazy work, work ethic of the US is better?

On a lighter note, I walked to and from the Wednesday market and I grabbed a couple shots of this newly created “garden(?)”. I was amused. Snow White and her dwarves, fake grass, fake water lilies! Who says the Italians can’t be tacky? 🤣😂😅

I forgot to mention that we learned a little more about our apartment. Paolo, our cabinet maker, seems to be fascinated with this apartment. He was surprised, as so many are, to find a place like this in this area and in this building. Unexpected I guess.

Anyway, he must have mentioned it to other people and in the process he learned the original owner was a strange one. He had a storefront but did no business, his money sources were not known and he seemed to have no visible means of support. This means one thing to me. And you can probably guess what that is. He ended up bankrupt and this apartment went up for auction. The people we bought from were it’s second owners. I assume they got it for cheap. The original owner is no longer living. It is always interesting to learn about your house.

Again I made pesto. I wish you were here, I would give you some!

10 thoughts on “August

  1. Kimberly Ondrechak

    Love this post. Thank you for sharing. And totally agrre with you thoughts around ferragosto and the impact of it. I’m Canadian and I wish we took the time to step back and enjoy a slower pace of life from time to time. This is one of the very reasons I can’t wait to embrace and partake in italian life. ♥️

  2. Carlo

    As you know, I grew up in South America and later lived and worked in Panama and in Germany—where we met! For which I am forever grateful. I don’t think one should compare countries as if one is better than another. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, as do both Italy and the U.S. Neither lives up to all that foreigners think of them. My Italian grandparents moved to the U.S. in search of prosperity and opportunity that were unavailable to them in Italy before World War I. They started businesses here and did well. They never went back, not even to visit family. Likewise, for my Mexican-American father, his parents and grandparents. So, everything is relative to one’s perspective and situation. The moral to that story is—life is what you make and of it, for better and for worse. Carpe diem!

  3. Linda G Berglund

    Differences is what makes things interesting. You just need to pivot. Your Pesto looks great!

  4. Lynn Brown

    Could you tell why you lived in Germany for 6 years? Also it’s because of the Ferragosto that things shut down as I remember…

  5. Matthew Daub

    Viva la difference—exactly!! I taught a watercolor class as part of a large cultural group on our very first trip to Italy in 1994; three weeks in Montecatini. I remember many of the Americans complaining about the riposo, because they couldn’t go shopping, but this was one of the things my wife and I LOVED about Italy. I find it sad that so many cultures try and emulate ours (often not for the better).

  6. Rebecca Reed

    I wish I was there also. Would love the pesto but also the lifestyle. I think it’s amazing and great that everything shuts down in August. It must be so quiet without the hustle and bustle…lazy days of summer!! As you know we don’t have those days here!!!

  7. Cynthia Galli-Jackson

    Very interesting! I love the garden! Here we call them “fairy gardens” ( at least in New England) and they have all sorts of little figurines and flowers and tiny animals. It all depends on the ingenuity of the person making them. Children love making them here as well! I love the Snow White themed one❤️


  8. Denise

    Bravo, Nancy, you nailed it. I am tired of the rat race culture in America that barely allows for women to bear children. We have great “freedom” but are working 60 plus hours a week, trying to squeeze in time to think. Eating lunch in the break room, if you get to eat during the day, consists of people staring at their cellphones and scrolling while shoveling food in. No one speaks. And I’m a nurse and work ina clinic- so this is our “health care.” Glad the Italians can take a break and enjoy family and friends for a few weeks.

  9. Jane

    Hi Nancy, maybe I missed it in another post, but what are the features of your new apartment that make it so unusual?

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