While its true that August is a general vacation time here, the 15th in particular is the day that Romans close up shop and head for the beach, leaving their fair city in the hands of the ever-present tourists. The 15th of August is called Ferragosto, or Assumption Day. The word “ferragosto” derives from the original name, feriae Augusti, meaning “holidays of [Emperor] Augustus”.

I knew that lots of places would be deserted this past Monday, but I still failed to stock up on Diet Coke (my drug of choice) in anticipation of the closed grocery store. Rookie mistake. Despite the crippling absence of my daily dose of caffeine, I headed out to see what Rome looks like without the Romans.

That is the emptiest you will ever see the Corso Vittorio¬†Emanuele. I took this picture from the middle of the road (hence the looks that I’m choosing to interpret as admiration). Gone are the fashionable, well-dressed locals, and in their place is an abundance of backpack-wearing, camera-wielding tourists, frantically searching their maps, looking for all of the must-see historical attractions.

When confronted with a sign like this, how do you even begin to decide which way to go?

I headed for Piazza Navona, accidentally wound up at the Pantheon, then circled back to the Campo di Fiori, hoping but not really expecting to see the fruit and vegetable vendors. As I suspected, the Campo was similarly deserted and taken over by tourists. No strawberries for me.

When everything is closed, including grocery stores and bakeries, a girl still has to eat, right?

That’s lunch, folks.

p.s. Check out the Weeping Willards, they are kicking off their mini-tour today and I’m sad I can’t go to any of the shows, so I thought I would throw A Little Love their way!

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