Confessions: The Siesta That Starved Me

In my post My Italian Fivesome: Cinque Terre, I mentioned my one big regret: NOT EATING A LOT. You will notice this frustration as a recurrence in my Italian posts. Why on earth would I go to Italy and not eat?! I mean I’ve seen Eat, Pray, Love. That was why I wanted to pig out in Italy in the first place! And normally, in my other travels, food is an important part of my itinerary but we all make mistakes and hopefully I learned a valuable lesson.


As I was writing my Cinque Terre article, I retraced my steps and thought about the things I should’ve done. Things I should change the next time I go back or even for my next trip some place else. It was past noon time when my friends and I got to La Spieza and we decided to grab a drink and a bite as soon as we got to the first village which was Monterosso. Apparently, the theme of our whole Eurotrip was “Look first, Eat later”. That actually makes a pretty good title for a blog post.

I was able to eat a very good slice of pizza and drank a strong glass of sangria to start the village-hopping. It was enough to last me for a couple of hours and I was looking forward to eating a nice seafood meal in one of the villages later. But sometimes, you get too excited and too distracted to remember to eat again.

That’s what happened in Cinque Terre.

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We were in Vernazza at that time. We’ve walked the back alleys, explored the inner passages and even climbed up the secret tower. By the time we were ready to eat again, it was too late. We have totally forgotten about this thing called SIESTA!! Or as they call it in Italy, riposo.

All the restaurants were already closed by 3:30 pm, and they don’t open again until 7:00 pm. It was the most frustrating thing ever. How in the hell did I end up starving in Italy? I was supposed to be in food heaven! The one place where food probably defined the whole culture.

Lesson learned.



The only thing that saved me was the ever reliable gelato. I swear I ate more gelato than pasta when I was Italy. Maybe I should’ve called this article, “The Gelato That Saved Me” instead.

So here’s a promise: next time I’m in Italy, I will take the time to eat, eat and eat!

italian riviera

(Reposted from my old blog)

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Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created JetsettingJen as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.