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When do Italians take their August holiday?

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I'll be travelling in Italy for most of the month of August and I was just remembering reading this on another thread:

"One year we were in Tuscany at the end of August. We were watching television. There was a solid line of bumper to bumper traffic from Salerno to Rome. Everyone was going home from their month vacation. "

Are there set days that Italians, for the most part, start and end their vacation? I don't know if it's a four week Saturday to Saturday thing, or is it August 1-August 31st? I'm sure some people will vary their vacation days, but it does seem like there's one day that is worse than others.

Our rentals are Saturday to Saturday and we depart on a Saturday, so I'm guessing the day everyone returns from their vacation will affect us one way or another. I'm just wondering which day it'll be. On Saturday, August 25th, we depart from FCO in Rome at 12:55 p.m, so perhaps we will leave for the airport early enough to avoid the worst of the traffic.

Thanks in advance!

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