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)

Siesta Time – Light and Shade Challenge – May 4, 2014

(c) obGmHAa

(c) obGmHAa

2:00 … hot as Hades.

I sat on my balcony and looked down at the sidewalk café, until only an hour ago, it was full of people. Not even a fly buzzed. The cars, all parked. No children, no music. It was almost as though everyone had disappeared from the face of the earth.

Then, it began … the cicada serenade. At first, a short burst. It seemed the cicada wanted to see if anyone was around to listen to it. Then, the chittering became a long noisy presence.

I closed my window and turned on the AC. Siesta time.


When I first came to Italy,  I discovered the siesta hour…should be plural, because everything closed down from 1:00 until 4:00…that was in Liguria in 1970.

Italy, has slowly become “globalized” like the rest of the world, and now, it’s rare that shops close at all during the day, at least where there are tourists, although, this is an age-old rite that has not completely died out, but the big shopping centers are almost always open, though we don’t have the all night affairs yet. 😉

Written for Light and Shade Challenge- Friday May 2, 2014 … go and have a look at this great duo!