I often overhear debates on which language is richer: English or Italian. Depending on the case being made, convincing points are put forth to either side. So much so, I'm sitting right on the fence on this one. After all, English is made up of so many other languages; Greek roots, Latin roots, French words, slang, brand names cum nouns, you name it. But in Italian, you can find words thick with meanings. Get out of Google Translate and into a proper Vocabulario or Italian dictionary, and you'll see what I mean.
One of my favorite items is a dictionary of Italian idioms. And one of my favorite words, if not very favorite practices is the application of the word, Bridge = Ponte. I believe Italy still comes first in observing the greatest number of holidays or 'bank holidays' (for you British readers). But what doesn't get counted are the days that count the most: Bridge Days which help you ease in or out of your official day off, depending on what day it lands.
Each year, Italy observes the 25th of April (Liberation Day) and the 1st of May (Labor Day). Naturally, most of us (and especially schools) take the whole week off in between. But even for those who don't, this year for example, May 1st falls on Tuesday. So Mondays, everything's pretty much Closed for Business. And this, is the Ponte. A bridge from your fabulous Friday straight to Wednesday. It's like Passing Go but even better.
I think the justification is that sometimes these festivals fall over a weekend. So, what can an extra day off on other years hurt? I don't know, besides...by the time you read this, as they say in Italy, It's all water under the bridge.