If I have to choose the Top Five of the thousand and one things why I love Italy so much, I would definitely put the “Passeggiata” in Number 3!
“Passeggiata” comes from the Italian verb, “passeggiare” meaning, to stroll or take a SLOW walk.
In Italy, doing the Passeggiata is a ritual observed in every village or town, by Italians of all ages, of all walks of life, and it is done particularly during weekends, after 5pm when the sun has set , lasting till 8pm where some would go straight to a local bar for their drinks and nibbles (“apperitivo”) and the rest would rush straight home where mama’s cooking is waiting at the table!
The Passeggiata is part of Italian culture that even the local authorities adapt their urban planning to incorporate a long avenue dedicated for the evening promenade of practically the entire population and the Polizia Municipale ensures the closure of that road from motorists, putting barriers and patrolling the area so that the promenaders can do their stroll in utmost peace and security.
It is also a social event where people meet up with friends to catch up with the latest news or gossip
Practically the entire population prepares for this special late afternoon stroll
and I mean, all ages! no excuse for the Nonos (grandpas) and the Nonas (grandmas) and even the newly-born..
which is also a chance for mothers to share parenting tips, perhaps
Women put on their best shoes as if they are going to a show or some ceremony
That is why shoe shops are very popular in Italy.
Everyone are dressed to impress!
Even Fido joins in the fun!
Hairdressers are definitely doing roaring business before the passeggiata hour..