For most of the year, Mantua is a sleepy Italian city.
When there’s a festival or some other big event on, it’s a different story.
August is not festival time in Mantua, however, and so the city is not so much sleepy (it’s normal state) as comatose.
All around town and throughout the province the sign CHIUSO PER FERIE (Closed for Holidays) can be seen. Shopkeepers, restauranteurs, bar owners, public servants, cinema operators, etc., all shut up shop and go on holiday.
Some people, myself included at times, claim they like the city in August. On a warm evening you can walk around the pedestrianized centre, eating gelati (the ice cream shops stay open) while idly looking in shop windows (even if the shops themselves are closed). And you can watch the handful of people who haven’t gone away.
I haven’t gone away though and this blog is still open for business.