August, then, and everything is shut. Florence is indulging in its age-long tradition of taking all of August off to flee to the beach or the mountains or home to mamma. Since last weekend, shop after shop has been lowering its shutters and sticky-taping notices telling people to come back in September. Now, walking around the city, the only people to be seen are tourists. Hot, bothered, in need of a drink, and slightly freaked out that the restaurant the guidebook so heartily recommends is closed for the summer. As a city of three hundred thousand residents, but with an influx of eight million tourists, closing all the good spots right at the top of the season may seen crazy, but talk to any of the locals and they will swear that there’s no point; there’s no one here; the city’s empty; and they’re off too.
Continued on Ben Hammersley’s Dangerous Precedent
In case you were planning on going to Italy this month – don’t. Unless you have to go on business anyway. August is practically national holiday month. Most businesses close all over Italy!