To kick off our summer posts, let’s talk travel. Years of budget mini-breaks in Italy have taught me what you need, and what you don’t need, to pack for a fun weekend getaway.First, though, some advice. Travel wherever you like, with whomever you please, but I’d be remiss – if we’re wanting to be truly Italian – if I didn’t weigh in on when you should travel.
Ne di venere, ne di marte, non si compra, non si parte,
ne si dà principio ad arte.
For a big-ticket purchase, venture, or trip,
Tuesdays and Fridays are days to skip.
There! Now with all the hassle of baggage fees, gas prices, and planning time away from work, you can add avoiding unlucky Italian days to the mix 😉
Actually, I think the proverb is mythology rising up to justify human behavior (ma quando mai?). See, Italians have a very flexible sense of time, especially when it comes to the work week. When a holiday falls on a Thursday, an extended vacation magically appears like Venere from the waves, and you get to take Friday off, too. After all, it would be unlucky to start your trip on Friday, so Wednesday = weekend. It’s called fare il ponte – taking the bridge – and it’s a delightful custom.
So the next time a holiday falls on a Thursday, just tidy up your desk on Wednesday and wish everybody a great weekend. If they press you, just mutter something carelessly about “taking the bridge,” as though it would probably make things easier on everyone to dispense with the pretense of getting work done on such an isolated, unlucky Friday.
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