As the day comes to an end, the main street in virtually every Italian town or village swells with activity as a large part of the local population flocks together for the ‘passeggiata’, the evening stroll. The main objective is seeing and being seen. People of all ages chatter and keep a watchful eye on everything and everyone around them. These days it’s fashionable for people to take up their vantage point outside a bar for l’aperitivo which often is served with small snacks of olives, nuts and crisps.
Usually the younger generations promenade back and forth along the main street between the church square and the main piazza, giggling, flirting, chatting and making plans. The elderly men are more sombre and generally sit outside a bar boisterously discussing politics, while the women gather for a gossip and chat outside the local church, often bringing their own cushion for comfort. Then, like a magic puff, the streets are suddenly emptied, the shop shutters are pulled down abruptly with a bang and everybody returns home for dinner.
The passeggiata is over for another day.