After the working day is done, or for a brilliant way to battle the weekend blues, between the hours of 5 and 8 PM, the Italians will take an evening passeggiata—a blissful and customary evening stroll.
They will dress to impress. They will saunter—oh so unhurriedly—through the historical center of a town or city.
It is a way to see and be seen. To chat. To discover. To plunge into a cup of gelato. To bask in the milder air of twilight, and to enjoy a Cranberry Italian Soda with a select, well loved few.
Rome, as you may imagine, is the perfect city for a passeggiata. If your desire and imagination is ever fueled for a Roman holiday, we recommend you take your evening passeggiata just like this.
1. Timing is everything
If you want to take in the full, blooming life of a true Roman passeggiata, do it in the twilight hours. The quaint squares and centers of Rome will be populated towards five o’clock. This is when every nook and cranny will magically come to life. As you stroll by, you’ll hear Italians in busy, passionate conversation—likely about their favorite pastime: food. Even when taking the same lap, around the same square, past the same group: they’ll still be exchanging recipes for that night’s dinner.
2. Find the hidden gems
One hidden, but worthy Roman reward to seek is the Campo de’ Fiori market. An open-air fading gem with a few vendors who still remember a time when local meant homemade, and organic meant simple. Pick up a handful of Ovoli mushrooms. Yellow roses and Italian lavender. One-of-a-kind, handmade salad spoons. (That everyone will ask you about when you get back home.)
3. Do it with a friend
The Trevi Fountain is still fed with water by one of the 11 original aqueducts. Now that is a conversation starter. The Sant’Angelo Bridge at night is meant for reliving secret memories. The Spanish Steps were not made for solitary viewing. Rome’s 13th Rione calls for shared belly laughs echoing down its streets. If you’re taking a Roman passeggiata, take it with someone to remember.