|Venice Lagoon on a Summer's Day - Photo: Cat Bauer|
Italians in particular are guaranteed four weeks vacation, plus 104 hours (about two weeks) of personal time to take kids to the doctors, go to the dentist, etc. In addition, employees receive 12 paid public holidays.
There are no federally mandated paid vacation or paid public holidays in the United States.Zilch. The average number of paid vacation days that private employers give their employees is 10 days after one year, 14 days after five years, and 17 days after 10 years. On average, after working for a private employer for 20 years, Americans finally get what their European counterparts get by law: 20 days paid vacation. If you want to know more about it, have a look at Wikipedia.
Even though the UK just voted to leave the European Union on June 23, the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, who came into office on July 13, is staying European when it comes to holidays. She is already on vacation in the Swiss Alps, and won't be back until August 24.
|Giudecca Canal - Venice, Italy|
However, there are some Americans who do get substantial time off: the US Congress, who voted themselves a month off back in 1970. By law, Congress must adjourn between July 31 and Labor Day.
Then, in the 1920s, the Fascists organized trips at discounted prices so Italians could travel to other cities, or the mountains, or the beach, which remains a tradition to this day.
|Assumption of the Virgin by Tintoretto (1550)|
So, the pagan Roman holiday morphed into a sacred Catholic holiday, which some folks claim was actually an even more ancient Roman festival in celebration of the goddess Diana, who, in addition to her hunting skills and ability to talk to the animals, was the virgin goddess of women and childbirth.
I have written about the holiday many, many times before -- in fact, last year, I stuck them all in one post, which you can read here:
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!
Ciao from Venezia,