Italy is closed, come back in September
I don’t know where they go; I think to the beach and to the mountains. But then what would the value of a vacation to the beach or mountains be if everyone in the country were there at once. All I know with certainty is that they are gone. Most shops are closed for all or part of August - not the large supermarkets, not the main tourist attractions, but the thousands of small shops spread across the neighborhoods. Ferragosto is a specific one day holiday on August 15th. But more generically, Ferragosto or Ferie refers to the vacation period of August. Driving in Rome is comparably pleasant during August because the traffic is markedly lighter. If only the Ferragosto traffic lasted all year.