by Melinda Gallo

Facciamo il ponte...solo se fa bel tempo

Usually in Italy when there's a festa (holiday) on one day, people try to take a few days off to fare il ponte (literally means to make a bridge, but means to take a long weekend). Today is festa and a few of my friends took a long weekend even though the weather is not optimal. The temperatures have dropped to the mid 60's and it has been raining off and on.

Today is the Festa della Repubblica when Italy decided to go from a monarchy to a republic. Surprisingly those in favor of the Republic were only about 54% and the reigning king and his family were exiled to Geneva, Switzerland.

When I went to the mercato on Tuesday, they told me that everything would be closed today, but Dave went out and he said that everything was open, even La Standa. The giorni festivi (holidays) in Italy don't seem to be observed much any more. Although the only people who seem to observe all the giorni festivi, which are marked in red on Italian calendars, are the governmental agencies, Le Poste (Post Office), schools, and the mercato.

The people at the mercato told me that if the weather is good, not many people will be coming by on Saturday since they'll be facendo il ponte and going out to il mare (the sea). But, if the weather is cold, many people will have stayed in Florence and will be coming to the mercato.

Because it's a little rainy out and quite chilly, I think the mercato will be quite crowded tomorrow and not many people have fatto il ponte.

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