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La Passeggiata – An evening stroll in Italy.

La Passeggiata is very real.  Late afternoon/early evening, young and old, friends, families, multi-generational family groups and singles are all out walking.  Walking dogs on leads, leading young children by the hand, pushing strollers, slowly strolling, arm in arm, visiting, eating, kissing, admiring window displays, and often clogging the wide pedestrian zones.  No one is in a hurry.  Bicyclists and wheelchairs are in the crowds as well as the ever present street vendors.

 

In Italian culture, there’s so much wonderful family tradition and time reserved for certain times of the day that are custom if not a typical part of Italian lifestyle and daily ritual. La Passeggiata is one of those daily rituals that Italians and everyone visiting Italy should really enjoy – just taking some time late in the day to relax and walk through the pedestrian streets, greeting old friends, window shopping or just wander aimlessly connecting with people and celebrating the end of a wonderful day in Italy.

 

Definition of the Italian Word Passeggiata: From Wikipedia

As evening falls and the harsh sun inches out of the your favorite piazza, an evening ritual is bound to begin, the Italian tradition of passeggiata, a gentle stroll (slow! think slow!) through the main streets of the old town, usually in the pedestrian zones in the centro storico (the historic center) or along the lungomare if you’re by the sea.

Italians tend to dress up for passeggiata, and tourists are usually easy to spot in their shorts and day packs.

Older folks sit along the route, on a bench or nursing a beer or a glass of wine in the bar, and watching for things to gossip about; la passeggiata is where new romances and new babies are on display as well as new shoes. Folks of all ages take part in the passeggiata, from the youngest babies being pushed in their strollers to the oldest members of the community who take it all in from the sidelines.

During passeggiatta,  is the time to see and be seen, catch up with old friends, and make good impressions on new ones. If you want a real taste of Italian life, join in the evening passeggiata and either stroll along or find a bench or bar where you can take in the scene.

In every city and town, during the early evening time, it’s a must do event, even for tourists.  It is so very easy, interesting, exciting and costs “niente”!

Sometimes I join in the evening stroll and sometimes I just sit and watch.

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