Siesta – July 28, 2015

in the early afternoon

under the pines
mid-summer siesta
with an ant

hot summer day
escaping the heat wave
afternoon siesta

behind the blinds in summer
then our siesta

© G.s.k. ‘15

Ah – the siesta!  The first thing one learnt when arriving for the first time to pass the summer in Italy was to take a siesta, whether you wanted to or not.  Usually after lunch, between two o’clock to four o’clock, the whole country came to a halt.  The shops, public offices, banks and most other public affairs closed down.  The cafes turned down the music, sometimes closing their doors as well and the streets became deserted.

The siesta though, wasn’t just napping!  It was the time of the day when you took a break from work, a time to sit back and relax during the hottest part of the day, have a proper lunch and be able to digest it.  I was down in Puglia a few years back and I was delighted to find that the tradition is still going strong in the south, though I’d grown out of the habit and had to re-adapt!

Now days, here in the north, except if one’s on vacation, the siesta has mostly been forgotten, like other traditional Italian ways of beating the heat, especially in the tourist areas.  Now the shops are always open sometimes into the late evening, the big supermarkets ad malls are open every day, and the thump thumping of disco music never stops!  Italy has become a modern country … like America.

summer siesta
memory of the past
childhood pass-time

 © G.s.k. ‘15

Written for: Carpe Diem #784 hirune (nap)

17 thoughts on “Siesta – July 28, 2015

  1. I’m summering in rural Spain where the siesta is alive and well. Last week the pup and I were in Salamanca during siesta, where–like the proverbial mad dogs and Englishmen–we were the only ones on the streets. By six o’clock, the streets and plazas were so jammed we could barely move through them.


    • Yep … that sounds like it used to be here as well … and still is this summer btw … a wonder what a heat wave will do to bring back old customs 😉 hope you have a pleasant stay in Spain .. love that country!


    • And right you are … if you look at old painting of Europe, you’ll see that everyone used to recoup in the hot summer … it’s the modern go getter culture that’s wiping out the slower quality of life I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think hot most countries are rather sensible about taking a rest in the hottest part of the day … even if one doesn’t actually sleep, in the heat one needs to rest and relax!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A shame to lose the siesta — it would be delightful to slow down for a change — without the american “busyness”.

    Loved the siesta with an ant 😉


  3. Your lovely post reminds me of when I was in secondary school. Siesta was compulsory, after lunch. A one hour affair that we students grabbed like life savers. 🙂

    Wonderful set of haiku, Georgia. 🙂


    • Glad you enjoyed the post and it brought back nice memories … when I was a kid I hated nap time … but maybe during school hours it would have been more welcome!


in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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