In Italy, there's an old custom in which you take a stroll out to your favorite piazza at night. You're a flaneur, as the French would call it, but this Italian custom is specifically only practiced at nighttime. The Italians call this traditional evening escapade La Passeggiata.
La Passeggiata comes from the Italian verb passegiare, which means to stroll or take a slow walk. It all started back in the days when Italians would dress up in their best outdoor evening wear —with the intentions of showing off their choice of clothing. It was a social etiquette which drew from, and affected the reputation / perception of other people. According to blogger Wander Wisdom, this somewhat unusual ritual was commonly practiced by women.
“It was originally the custom for young women ready for marriage to be dressed in their best clothes and displayed in this manner by their families as their image was important. They were also encouraged to flirt with all available men who were potential husband material during the walk. No doubt the mamas and papas would be keeping a close eye on any developments! Today more often than not, many Italians will go home to change to make sure they are “fare la bella figura” or ‘cutting a beautiful figure’ before taking their evening passeggiata before dinner.”
So, how does one encourage this tradition in contemporary times — you may ask. Well, you don't need to be perusing the streets of Italy or be wearing the most expensive suit-and-tie to experience La Passeggiata. Oh, we don’t expect you to dress up, but there's no need to be too glamorous! Just wear the style that suits you best on a night out When you are all dressed up and raring to go step outside your door and take a sip of that cool evening air — the night is yours. Lets your feet, and curiosity guide you through the twisting streets and beautifully lit boulevards.
Ohh, but don't forget to take your camera with you, paired with a highly light-sensitive film such as Lomography Color Negative 800 to capture all the details in the darkness. Flash photography also works the best for evening shots, and if you're feeling bolder, try taking long-exposure shots with the city light!
Of course, the whole La Passeggiata experience will not be complete without dinner, so don't forget to RSVP a table for you and your date!
written by cielsan on 2018-10-05