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Is everything closed on August 15 in Italy? (Ferragosto – public holiday)

Ferragosto is a public holiday in Italy that falls on August 15th every year. It is a time when many Italians take a break from work and go on vacation, often to the beach or mountains. However, there is some confusion as to whether everything in Italy is closed on Ferragosto, including shops, restaurants, and other businesses.

What is closed on Ferragosto in Italy?

In general, Ferragosto is a widely celebrated holiday in Italy, and many businesses do close for the day. This includes government offices, banks, and some retail stores. Many small businesses, including restaurants and cafes, may also close for the day, especially in smaller towns or cities where there is less tourist traffic.

However, not everything is closed on Ferragosto. Tourist attractions, museums, and other cultural sites may remain open, though with reduced hours or limited services. Some shops and restaurants in more touristy areas, like Rome or Florence, may also remain open, especially those that cater to tourists who may not be familiar with the holiday.

It is also worth noting that Ferragosto is not a one-day event in Italy. In many places, it is considered part of a larger summer holiday period that lasts for several weeks. During this time, many businesses may close for extended periods of time, particularly in smaller towns or villages where there are fewer tourists.

What Ferragosto means to you as a Tourist

If you are planning to visit Italy during Ferragosto, it is a good idea to plan ahead and check with local businesses to see if they will be open. This is particularly important if you are planning to visit smaller towns or villages, where businesses may be more likely to close for the holiday.

Ferragosto is a great time to experience some of Italy’s unique cultural traditions. For example, in many towns and villages, there are processions or parades to honour the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is a key religious aspect of the holiday. There may also be traditional foods and drinks, like panettone or limoncello, that are associated with Ferragosto.

Overall, while many businesses may close on Ferragosto, it is still possible to enjoy the holiday and experience some of Italy’s unique cultural traditions. By planning ahead and being flexible, visitors can make the most of this special day and enjoy all that Italy has to offer.

Most Hotels and Accommodations will celebrate the occasion with their guests, preparing special Dinners and Snacks all day, often with delicious sweet treats to honour Ferragosto. Make sure to take part!

Buon Ferragosto at Hotel Poker Riccione
Buon Ferragosto at Hotel Poker Riccione
Celebration Cake for Ferragosto at Hotel Poker Riccione
Celebration Cake for Ferragosto at Hotel Poker Riccione

Top Activities to do on the public holiday Ferragosto on August 15 in Italy

On August 15th, Italy celebrates Ferragosto, a widely cherished public holiday and a time when Italians come together to enjoy the peak of summer. This day offers a multitude of activities that showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere. Here are the top activities to do on this special day in Italy:

  1. Beach Excursions: August is the hottest month in Italy, making it the perfect time for sun-seekers to head to the beautiful beaches along the Adriatic, Mediterranean, and Ionian coasts. Enjoy the crystal-clear waters, sandy shores, and a refreshing dip in the sea. A popular destination for both locals and foreign tourists are Rimini or Riccione on the Adriatic coast.
  2. Festivals and Processions: Many towns and cities hold lively street festivals and religious processions on Ferragosto. You can witness colourful parades, traditional costumes, and local performances, giving you a glimpse into Italy’s diverse regional traditions.
  3. Fireworks Displays: As night falls, spectacular fireworks light up the skies across the country. Major cities like Rome, Florence, and Naples dazzle with elaborate displays, making it an enchanting experience for locals and tourists alike.
  4. Boat Trips: Take a leisurely boat trip on Italy’s iconic lakes, such as Lake Como, Lake Garda, or Lake Maggiore. Admire the picturesque landscapes, historic villas, and charming towns along the shores.
  5. Enjoy Local Cuisine: Italian food is famous worldwide, and on Ferragosto, you can savour the best of it. Join a traditional feast with family and friends, indulge in seasonal delights, and don’t miss out on trying the refreshing gelato to beat the heat.
  6. Open-Air Concerts: Many piazzas and parks host open-air concerts and music events. Immerse yourself in the melodic tunes of Italian music while surrounded by a joyful crowd.
  7. Cultural Sightseeing: Visit museums, art galleries, and historical landmarks. Explore Italy’s rich history and admire its artistic treasures to gain a deeper appreciation of the country’s cultural heritage.

For tourists, Ferragosto on August 15th in Italy offers an incredible opportunity to celebrate life, embrace the Italian spirit, and create unforgettable memories during the peak of summer. You might also be interested in other public holidays in Italy.


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