Definition: As evening falls and the harsh sun inches out of the your favorite piazza, an evening ritual is bound to begin, the Italian tradition of passeggiata, a gentle stroll (slow! think slow!) through the main streets of the old town, usually in the pedestrian zones in the centro storico, the historic center.
Italians tend to dress up for passeggiata, and tourists are usually easy to spot in their shorts and fanny packs. Older folks sit along the route, nursing a beer or a glass of wine in the bar, and watching for things to gossip about; la passeggiata is where new romances are on display as well as new shoes.
Passeggiata is especially popular on Sunday evenings. During the summer, some Italians even drive to nearby cities, the coast, or the lakes for a special passeggiata.