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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Italy Series at ItalianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Italian holidays and observances. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 15, Summer Vacation.
Have you ever been to Italy in the summer? If yes, you must know that it is a favorite destination for tourists from all around the world. Generally speaking, the summer holidays in Italy take place during the middle two weeks of August.
In this lesson we’ll see how the Italians spend this time of year and why they wish that this time would never end.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you- Do you know what the “sindrome da rientro” is, and why it’s so widespread among Italians in September?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
For Italian school children, anticipation of the holiday begins as early as mid-May because the school year ends on June 10 after nine long months. The summer holidays or vacanze estive are the longest for Italians students , lasting as long as three months. On the other hand, offices and factories typically remain closed for only two weeks, usually around the middle two weeks of August. It is during these two weeks that the real summer holidays begin and one can say that the whole country stops to take a break during the hottest time of the year.
The so-called peak holiday exodus, or esodo estivo, begins August 10 as Italians move from towns towards the resort areas. Usually Italians like to go to the sea in summer, so the exodus takes place mostly from the North, where there are large cities and industrial areas, to the South, where there are beaches and beautiful shorelines.
It is known that during the summer holidays the cities become almost completely vacant and the people remaining struggle to find an open store. On the contrary, resort towns, especially near the sea, are filled with people during the middle two weeks of August and become hubs of celebration. Among the most famous places are definitely Rimini and Riccione, two towns located on the Adriatic coast and known for their beaches and bustling nightlife.
In summer, tanning is a must for almost all Italians. Tanned skin is a sign of beauty because it gives one a healthy appearance, and anyone who is not tanned is said to be “as white as a mozzarella!”, or “bianco come una mozzarella!”
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know what “sindrome da rientro” is and why it’s so widespread amongst Italians in September?
These blues are the sadness that attacks almost all the Italians when they return from vacation in early September, when the summer starts to give way to a chilly autumn.
Well listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something new?
In your country, is the summer a special time like in Italy?
Please leave a comment telling us at ItalianPod101.com.
See you next time!