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P1090245La Passeggiata is easily my favorite part of the day here. (Followed closely by visiting the grower’s market, photos of which are plastered all over my blog!) This ritual has been so well-defined by others (read here) that I’ll leave that and try to tell you what I love about it.

Everything!

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Blatantly watching while getting ready to dive into the action. (Nancy’s Photo)

The evening amble is a new experience each night. Sometimes it is eating gelato and watching the people go by. Sometimes it is meeting new friends. Always, it is my favorite thing to do here.

P1090307We walk on our own street and down to the pedonale. We sit on retaining walls, on benches, at Il Gelato and at the wine/gelato bar. Always watching and listening.

When we wander, we pass the men and women on IMG_0701benches and the groups chatting as they lean against doorways of shops.

IMG_3572 - Version 2                            I  love watching the families strolling along the streets or up and down the pedonale.

I love watching the fashions of the area being paraded as if on a runway.

I love the lovers – not overly expressive – P1090247clinging to one another around the waist or holding hands, having eyes only for each other.

IMG_0833I love the companionship. Aging couples are hand in hand. Women friends stroll arm in arm. Men walk along, stopping for animated conversation. Young people hang in large groups, shoving, laughing, primping and playing off one another.

I love the occasional recognition and greetings exchanged with people we have met (or seen) before.

IMG_3491I love meeting new people. One night Sharon, Carlieta, and I were sitting at a table when we noticed a man walking in an affectionate embrace with a young boy. We each popped up to take a photo (tourists that we are). They were happy to pose and began talking with us.

The normal question of where we live elicited conversation about the father’s visit to Florida on a cruise. The young man tried to interpret until the man mentioned speaking Spanish. After that, Carlieta and I were able to discuss a few more things.

Soon the wife and a niece arrived. Then a nephew who spoke English joined us for a bit more translation. By the time we left, we were friends and all agreed that we would meet again at La Passeggiata.

It's fun to watch the couples dancing. They all know the steps, some of which are intricate.

It’s fun to watch the couples dancing. They all know the steps, some of which are intricate.

Even walking home is a special treat when the food kiosks are open below the bridge.

Even the young boys get in on the dancing action.

Young boys get in on the dancing action.

It might be Karaoke singing, or a DJ, or a musical group performing for the crowds of people who sit at tables set up around the dancing area. Kids romp around in groups then split and run to their parents for food or hugs.

I love it!