One of the most things you should know when planning your trip to Puglia Italy is that we have a siesta time!
If you ever arrive in Lecce any time from 1 to 5 pm you will certainly think this is a gost town.
All houses will have their shutters down.
All shops will be closed and most bars and restaurants will be empty.
Nobody will be around apart from a few tourists desperately looking for open churches or monuments.
The only proof that humans are around may be a bottle of wine with a few glasses left on the table after lunch in a private home.
For those wondering what goes on from 1 to 5 pm in Lecce and everywhere else in Puglia, the answer is very simple: it’s siesta time!
All people go home to have lunch with their families and then, they go to bed for a long siesta…before starting their day again which goes on until very late at night.
After 5pm, little by little people start waking up again: first you see a man riding a bike, then a lady knocking a neighbor’s door…until when you see all the ladies gathering in front their house and chatting about their plans for dinner.
Many medical studies demonstrated that having a proper and seated lunch with our family improves our well being and lifestyle. Moreover taking a short siesta reduces the risks of many heart and health diseases…..of course when associated to a healthy way of eating.
In general I and Marika like this relaxed lifestyle and for the past few years, since we are back home in Puglia, we “have been forcing” ourselves to take an after lunch siesta every day, even just for 15 minutes. There won’t be anything else you could do otherwise: you can’t call anyone because all phones will be off; you can’t go shopping because all shops are closed. The only problem with taking a siesta is that once you get used to it, it’s very hard to go back and not take it anymore!