This year, the lengthening of the day surprised me as never before. Or maybe just like every year, when after a couple of hours of daylight more it feels like a new change is about to come. Many months of darkness and freezing weather made me feel like an automaton adapted to live in black and white, wear heavy clothes and drink hot tea. So now that the nightfall runs late and the days become brighter everything looks different.
Refreshing drinks, colorful clothes, trees in bloom, clear sky and sunshine are a bless in London. However I can’t stop thinking of Italy and in particular of the first hot days of the year in Italy. It’s when you breathe something wonderfully vital in the air, a breeze that’s like a maternal breath, warm and reassuring. Any garment is way too many, heat sticks to the skin and you sweat and melt. The first hot day in Italy is also a day when you feel particularly free.
If it happens to you to be late, public transport will multiply your delay and any bus will be much more hotter than you can bear. Wherever you go nothing is worth rushing, no one can respect deadline and be punctual under such a melting sun, all the birds chirp in the air and all the light dazzles and enchants you. When it’s really hot in Italy you have to take your time, slow down, maybe pop in a bar for a cold coffee, have a chat with someone about a football match of the day or the political scandal of the moment. Nothing special happens on those days of summer in Italy, however a peaceful state of mind can sprout up in you.
It must be because of my almost mythological memories of the Italian weather that I started dabbling with coffee based recipes. An espresso to grab in an Italian bar where to stop, alone, to take a concentrate break, tells more about Italy than thousand books. I know that this tasty Coffee Banana shake will not revive the Italian summer I am sure it has already settled down in the “Bel Paese”, making everybody sweat and, I like to think, happy. But it is a good way to start the day off. It’s fresh and energizing because of the coffee and useful to normalize blood pressure because of the potassium-rich food it contains, the banana. For the time being, considering that a chaotic tube ride is waiting for me, that’s more than enough.