Sicily is shutting down. Well, all of Italy is really, because it’s Ferragosto! After Christmas and Easter, Ferragosto is the most important holiday of the year. Monday, August 15 is the holiday; however, most Italians use it as the centerpiece of a longer vacation. The cities empty out, and citizens head to the mountains or the sea. Sicilians who live outside of Sicily return to enjoy time with friends and family, relax, go to the beach (like this beautiful one pictured at Mondello), and celebrate sagras and feasts for their patron saints. Ferragosto is another name for the Feast of the Assumption, an important Catholic holiday (more on that tomorrow). For now though, let’s go to the sea!