Do Italians siesta?
Everyone knows how life in Spain seems to grind to a halt for an hour or two every afternoon for siesta. But less well known is the Italian version – Pennichella. The word is often used to describe a brief nap and originates from the Latin ‘pendiculare’, which is the shape many who ‘nod off’ seem to form as they slump forwards in their favorite chair. With such hearty lunches being eaten across the country, it probably doesn’t surprise you. There’s also a hint of pendulum about the sleeper, whose head nods back and forth with no pillow to support it. Such naps are often the result of a hearty lunch and sometimes a glass or two of wine.
But while Spanish siestas give locals the chance to escape the heat of the day, Italian retailers don’t have a set time to shut up shop, each choosing their own rules. Some of the hottest parts of Italy may see stores closing in the heat of the afternoon, while others will just close Monday morning to extend the weekend. Of course, if a pennichella turns into sleep a little deeper than just a quick nap, then there is the danger a shop may stay closed for the rest of the day, which could be why there is much confusion among tourists about exact opening times.