Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:59 am EST

Shooting stars on Saint Lawrence night
August 10th in Italy is commonly called "La notte di San Lorenzo" (Saint Lawrence Night).

Each year on this night, Italians turn their eyes (occhi) skyward in the hopes of seeing a shooting star, one of the many that will fall during the Perseid Meteor Shower . Due to various scientific reasons (ragioni) this is the best time of the year (anno) to see shooting stars ("stelle cadenti", which literally means "falling stars")

The falling stars are believed to represent tears (lacrime) shed for San Lorenzo during his August 10 burial after he died a martyr's death (burned alive) in 258 A.D.

When the weather (tempo) is nice, it's the perfect time of the year to lie on a quiet beach (spiaggia) or in a harvested field (campo) in the countryside and watch the sky (cielo), waiting for the next shooting star to cross.

So, what are you waiting for? Get ready for your first special "Notte di San Lorenzo"…don't miss the stars tonight and don't forget to make a wish if you are lucky enough to see one!