If there’s one Italian tradition I love the most, it has to be the ritual evening “passeggiata”.  Fare un passeggiata literally means, to make a walk.  It simply wouldn’t be Italian enough to take a walk.  Oh no.  Italians own that walk.  They make it.

Every evening around sundown, Italians crowd the piazzas of every major town and city, and simply walk.  Not in the American sense of, I need to get my 40 minutes of “exercise.”  No, these people wouldn’t not be caught dead in the casual shoes, the spandex-laced uniforms of the American Workout.  They are dressed to impress.  High heels.  Suit jackets.  Hair coiffed and makeup in place.

And they stroll.  They strut.  They look casually with superior disinterest into gorgeous
window displays.  They wander aimlessly over thousand-year old cobblestones, arm in arm, gracefully swaying hips and all.  All the while, staring blatantly at each other, critically assessing, warmly appreciating, and openly searching.

How does this lovely parade culminate?  Well, with an aperitivo, of course.  A Negroni, a Spritz, a glass of Prosecco. Some kind of alcoholic pleasure designed to make your mouth water- to make you crave something salty, something more substantial than the sweet, quickly darkening evening air.  All this to prepare your body, mind and soul… for dinner.

Italian 101: Fare una Passeggiata