The one remarkable thing about Europe that never ceases to amaze me is the belief that people are entitled to a rest.
As uncontroversial as this sounds, in Singapore and in most Asian cities, were work is a priviledge, rest is a luxury not a right. So the idea that on Sunday there are no shops open and the only part of town busy is the church, just does not wash in Singapore. Well to be fair, it does not work in London or NY either. Perhaps it is partly also the big-city syndrome.
In Turin (which is a big enough city - take a look at the entry in wikipedia ) everything comes to a complete standstill in August. It is as if the entire city is forcing you to go on holiday. Nobody works really, apart from crucial or emergency services. The roads are pretty empty and most shops have a sign which says "chiuso per ferie" which means closed for vacation. It is as if it is somehow understood that you are not meant to be working in August.
Check out some thoughts about this by Ben blogging about Florence: