Today is a particular day for all the Italians – 15th August, or Ferragosto.

This feast has an ancient tradition. It dates from the year 18 BC when Emperor Augustus created an official holiday – “Feriae Augusti” (“festivals of Augustus”). People across the Roman Empire had huge feasts and events on this day, such as horse races. So, these races have stuck around as the second phase of the Palio in Siena (it is always held on 16th August). Besides its pagan roots, Cataholicism has a hand in Ferragosto too. This day is celebrated as Assumption Day, or the day when the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven.

Ferragosto is usually celebrated not only on 15th August, but also the week around it as well, with concerts, outdoor festivals and tons of food. If you would like to celebrate it with the Italians, here are some tips where to go in Florence:

  • Ferragosto at the Museum. Some civic museums will be open on Wednesday 15th August: Uffizi, Galleria dell’Accademia, Giardini di Boboli, Palazzo Pitti, Cappelle Medicee, Palazzo Vecchio, Forte di Belvedere, the Museum of twentieth century and Santa Maria Novella.

  • At Piazzale Michelangelo from 8 p.m. is held the celebratory dinner and from 9.30 p.m. – live music with many surprise guests.

  • River Urban Beach. On the Terrazza Marasco (Piazza Poggi) continues the season intitled “Fluidamente” with live music, theater, DJ sets, aperetifs, and many other activities. Each Friday is reserved for the fixed appointment – the evening Tenax Beach.

  • Jazz and not just that. At the Giardino dell’ArteCultura (via Vittorio Emanuele II, 4), inside the Giardino dell’Orticultura at 7.30 p.m. plays Alyen Roy Band, a show of the mix of jazz, swing, bossa and fusion.


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