LivingTravelThe Walk in Italy

The Walk in Italy

As evening falls in Italy and the golden sun rises from your favorite square , a nightly ritual will begin: the Italian tradition of the passeggiata , a gentle and slow stroll through the main streets of the city or town, usually in the pedestrian areas in the centro storico (the historic center) or along the lungomare if you are by the sea.

You may see more mature adults sitting along the route on a bench or suckling a beer or glass of wine at a pub along the way and observing the things to gossip about; Passeggiata is where new romances and new babies are on display, as well as new shoes. People of all ages participate in the passeggiata, from the smallest babies who are pushed in their strollers to the oldest members of the community who take everything from the sidelines. There is usually a lot of courtship and flirting on display. Stop for ice cream, a drink, or a snack as you make your way through the streets.

What to wear

Italians tend to dress up as passeggiata, and remember, they have a reputation for dressing elegantly. For some, it is the perfect time to show off new and stylish clothes. Tourists are usually easy to spot in their shorts and backpacks. If you want to blend in instead of looking like an American on vacation, ditch the shorts and sneakers in favor of some fancy clothes. And ditch the backpack. When in Rome …

Where and when to go

If you want to find passeggiata in the town or city you are visiting, head to the main street or the most important square. In larger cities like Rome, you will find several passegiatas every night in various squares and on pedestrian streets. The passeggiata happens every afternoon between 5 pm and 8 pm Monday through Friday, it is a time for socializing after work and before dinner. On weekends, the whole family often participates in this ritual, and the passeggiata is an especially popular ritual on Sunday nights.

Sunday lunch in Italy is often a big meal that is a long and drawn-out affair, making the evening the perfect time to leave the house for a walk. Sunday night is traditionally the time to see and be seen, catch up with old friends, and leave good impressions on new ones. If you want to get a taste of Italian life, find a passeggiata on Sunday nights and take a walk or find a bench or a bar where you can enjoy the scene.

Long, warm summer nights are the best time for the passeggiata. During the summer, some Italians even drive to the coast or the lakes for a special passeggiata. The beaches and coastal towns are often very crowded on summer weekends and throughout the month of August when much of Italy is on vacation, and Passeggiata is a big part of the coastal cultural scene.

Passeggiata is more prominent in southern Italy and on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia than in other parts of the country. Passeggiata takes place almost all year round in southern Italian towns, cities, and along the coast, and occurs regularly in almost all large cities and small towns across the country.

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