When I think of August, I think of unbearably hot afternoons, school supply shopping, first days of school and the craziness of the upcoming fall semester hitting with a bang. Those are all US memories though. Here? NOTHING. Europe closes down for August. Schools aren’t back in session yet (don’t be jealous, they didn’t get out for summer until July 22) and everyone is on holiday. In the Expat community, August is a big travel month so there have been almost no activities at the AWC. Many of my friends are traveling home to see family this month. The breakfast bakery that Mike and I like to frequent has been closed on random days. Some small businesses will shut down for weeks at a time. Mike and I walked to a restaurant the other night in the middle of the city near tourist heavy Oxford Circus and saw a sign on the window that they were closed on every Monday in August. Not for inventory, not for deep cleaning- just because. We have always heard never to travel in Italy or France or Spain or other big tourist destinations in August because the only people there are tourists and the people who stay to deal with the tourists. I believe them. I do like the holiday culture over here- people usually get at least 4 weeks vacation and are expected to take it. But it is like living in a different place. The central part of the city is crawling with tourists but the outskirts of the city feel empty. I have never lived in a city that has so many tourists, and while I appreciate the business that tourism brings the economy as a whole I find myself frustrated more often than not when I go into the city lately. In short, I am ready for September. Let’s get this fall started already!
Questions: Mike and I are trying to plan a long weekend in Rome some time this fall. We have no idea what to do, where to go, what to eat or where to stay. If you have been and have some tips, they would be much appreciated. If you have heard of something wonderful to do there, please let us know! Eating pasta and seeing the Colosseum are the only two things on our list right now. Fun as they sound, I think we should try for a few more things! So any suggestions would be lovely.