The Passeggiata

One of the things I love most about the small towns of Italy is getting lost among the labrinyth-like streets. Each village is like an historic maze of never-ending twists and turns, alleys and narrow passageways. One can easily get confused and taken off the beaten path, but it is rare that you will be lost for long. And sometimes, most times, getting lost is a serendipitous discovery of golden treasures or charming cafes tucked away in hidden corners and out of the way places.

Il corso, or main street as we know it, is the focal point of village life, where locals gather for a casual stroll, the passeggiata, each afternoon. It is a daily ritual that brings everyone out into the streets for a bit of fresh air , exercise and social inspections. School kids balance cones of gelato topped with fresh panna whipped cream as they giggle and nudge each other playfully in the middle of the street. Il ragazzi, blossoming young lovers, huddle off to the side in discreet corners, perhaps staying from view of their parents who will inevitably pass them by. And both young and old alike are linked arm and arm, chatting as if they had not seen each other in years, when in fact it was just yesterday at this same time they were doing just the same.

Eventually, all stone paved pathways will lead one back the piazza, centro historico, or, if you are very, very lucky, to your home here in Italia!

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