September 19, 2012

Cefalù, Sicily. May, 1988

Right this way for the evening’s passagiata. In Cefalù, you’ll find it along the Via Giuseppe Mazzini and Via Umberto I. More than just a late afternoon stroll, it’s an Italian ritual with its own codes of behavior and protocol. In any Italian town, even here in Sicily, s-l-o-w-l-y walk along the main pedestrian streets anywhere between 4pm and 6pm, passing neighbors, tourists, friends and enemies. The first time you pass someone you know, a big hello. The second time, a nod of acknowledgment. The third, no action required. Then there’s the sound. If you are new to Italy, it may startle you at first hearing. What can that riotous commotion be? Just paisans out for some conversation, some socializing, maybe some window shopping. Peak decibel level: 5pm. I love the passagiata and try to experience it as often as I can whenever I’m in Italy.

No comments:

Post a Comment