|Ferragosto at the beach|
|Milan railway station in 1970 - Neapolitans heading home for Ferragosto.|
The popular tradition of taking a trip during Ferragosto arose under Mussolini. In the second half of the 1920s, during the mid-August period, the government organised popular trips through the Fascist leisure and recreational organisations of various corporations, and via the setting up of the "People's Trains of Ferragosto", which were available at discounted prices. For many families, it was during these trips that they saw the sea, mountains and Italy's many artistic marvels for the first time.
Nowadays, Ferragosto means heading to the family home or a beach resort for a huge lunch, either at home or in a restaurant. Traffic is heavy before and after Ferragosto and trains are usually booked out well in advance for those dates. If you're visiting Italy over Ferragosto, be sure to try for a restaurant reservation - you'll then witness real Italian life in all its noisy glory!
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