Ciao, Amici!

Join us for a great Italian Festa at Montecito’s beautiful Lower Manning Park for a fabulous, FUNTASTIC Festa di Ferragosto!  And, even better, it will benefit our local students by helping us raise much-needed money for our Scholarship Fund.  For those of  you who have no idea what Ferragosto is all about, please scroll all the way to the end of this post, after the details of the event, and you will find out. This is the 5th Ferragosto we have organized in our community and people have enjoyed this event tremendously throughout the years.

We will be offering a 3-course Italian meal that includes wine, beer, water, soft drinks and coffee.  And guess what?  We are planning a bocce tournament and live music.  And it’s got to be a great event for parents with children as the event is open to everyone, grandi e piccini (adults and children).

 And here are the details:

Date:    Sunday, August 11, 2013
Time:   12:30 pm
Place:  Area 9, Lower Manning Park, Montecito (off San Ysidro Road across                    from Montecito Union School – look for signs and balloons)
Cost:    $25/adults – $8/children (5-12 years of age) – Children under 5, free.
               Want to bring your special wine? NO Corkage fee!


DEADLINE FOR RESERVATION: Monday, August 5th, 2013

To reserve and pay by check.  Please click here for a downloadable form.

To reserve and pay by credit card:  under “Number of Persons” box, please click on the little arrow in the options box, choose the option that is right for you and then click on the yellow “Buy Now” button and follow directions:

Number of persons




I have been asked many times what Ferragosto means and I thought it appropriate to give all of you a short history of this very Italian and very ancient holiday.

The term Ferragosto derives from the Latin expression feriae Augusti (Augustus’ rest) indicating a festivity ordered by the Emperor Augustus in 18 BC. This holiday was an addition to the existing and very ancient Roman festivals which fell in August, such as the Vinalia rustica or the Consualia, designed to celebrate the harvest and the end of the main agricultural tasks. The ancient Ferragosto had the purpose of linking the main August festivities to provide a suitable period of rest, also called Augustali, necessary after the hard labor of the previous weeks.  During the celebrations,  horse races were organised in the entire empire and labor animals such as oxen, donkeys and mules, were dispensed from work and decorated with flowers.  From a religious viewpoint, during this holiday the ancient Romans honored the Gods, in particular Diana, connected to the cycle of fertility and ripening.

Such ancient traditions are still alive today, virtually unchanged in their form and participation, during the “Palio dell’Assunta which takes place on August 16 in Siena. The very name  Palio  comes from the Latin pallium, a piece of precious fabric which was the usual prize given to the winners of the horse races in ancient Rome.

What do present day Italians do during this holiday?

In the past it was common for businesses to close and the entire month of August was taken as a holiday and leisure time in Italy. Nowadays, Ferragosto is mainly a short holiday for most Italians who take short vacations at the beach or in the country and enjoy large communal meals.  People celebrate on the streets in many cities of Italy.


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