Saturday, August 16, 2014

La passeggiata | The evening walk

image from
One of my favorite aspects of the Italian lifestyle is the late afternoon and early evening ritual known as "la passeggiata" or the evening stroll. Each evening, summer or winter, between the hours of 5pm and 9pm Italians take to the streets, to walk and socialize.
["passeggiata" comes from the verb "passeggiare"=to walk]
On Saturdays and Sundays the whole family participates, it is often the main social event of the day. Afterwards everyone heads home together for the evening meal. Italians eat dinner at around 8:30-9 o'clock. Something that we are still not able to adjust to.
We eat around 5-6...although we have been trying to push it out to 7ish...but then we are pretty famished.
Originally, one of the purposes of the passeggiata was to display the charms of young women who were eligible to be married, and in this process, parents of these girls encouraged them to be flirtatious. They wanted their daughters to "fare una bella figura" or to look good. This could be one of the reasons that generally people change their clothing after working, and put on their finer attire, dressing to impress, for the evening stroll. The goal is, after all, to see and be seen.

Italians like to share things and be with one another. They also like to be outside, as their homes are frequently small. Unless it is raining, you can count on "la passeggiata" to occur in every city, town and village in Italy every day of every week.

We often go out as well, Benjamin loves riding his bike or scooter and meet his friends. It is also a good opportunity for us to practice our Italian.

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