Archive for August, 2009


Posted in life, news, people, the biz, travel on August 18, 2009 by Robin Eller

On August 15th, the Italians celebrated Ferragosto. Catholics celebrate this holiday as the time when the Virgin Mary was supposed to have ascended to Heaven; but historically it’s the day that the Romans honored their gods on this day. A Ferragosto, tutto e’ chiuso (On Ferragosto, everything is closed).  Most Italians vacation the entire month of August; if they’re able to. In Rome the tourists will really stick out like a sore thumb because the city is empty. Most of the favorite restaurants are closed and open up in either the first or second week of September.  Wouldn’t it be great if America adapted  “il modo di Italiano” for August??  Penso di si`.

I spent 4 consecutive years in Filicudi on this holiday. Mi manca la mia bella isola!  I have the best memories of climbing la montanga for 20 minutes to attend the Annual Ferragosto Party at Marco’s house. The first time I made the climb, I kept thinking “This is insane! This party had better be worth it. Who climbs a mountain to go to a party?? Well, I am now. ” This wasn’t something I’d ever done in L.A. or Japan for that matter. The climb was easy although there is not a distinct path. It’s best to have your flashlight handy and go with someone who has made the climb before. Most people will sleep up there because as I saw on the way down, they had trouble getting back down the hill if they drank too much. The climb and the party was so worth it!! This is a huge house on the top of the mountain and one of the best views of the island. It was funny to see all of these people climbing a mountain to attend a party. Needless to say, the dress code was casual. What came to my mind was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I couldn’t help but think of the 7 dwarfs going off to work in the mine with the lights illuminating along the dark mountain path. Okay, I didn’t break out into singing “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s off to work we go…” Besides, I can’t whistle very well. If my dog Guido Panini could talk, he would explain what a terrible job I do at whistling. Even if the whistling is bad, I can sing and therefore I can learn to sing the song in Italian. Okay, I digress. La festa di Ferragosto is symbolic for me as well. One has to experience Filicudi to completely understand it.

Buon Ferragosto a tutti!