omkara Word of the day

“Taking a destination-less meander as the sun sets is a common mind-clearing ritual in Italian Culture”.

Language: Italian

Pronunciation: “pah-say-jah-tah”

Etymology: Derived from passeggiare: to take steps to pass through

Meaning: To take a passeggiata is to master the art of an evening stroll. It’s a means to walk aimlessly and enjoy the simple pleasure of being outdoors and socializing in the lingering summer sun. Those of us who move too fast to take in the day’s offerings might consider the Italians’ mindful meandering pace troubling, but the longer the stride the more relaxed the conversation. This ritual is a reflection of the community, of shared glances across busy piazzas, of families with new strollers, young lovers who still have much to learn of grace and well-dressed elderly folks with their hands folded behind their backs. It’s street-side theater and feels a lot like a collective pursuit, even when taken alone.

Use: The ideal time to take a passeggiatta is between late afternoon and dusk as a break between finishing work and sitting down to dinner. Try organizing a passeggiata instead of indoor happy hour beverages. Its a moving meeting place for famiy and friends where you can report on the day’s events and rest before the evening ahead.

Words by Michael Nolledo.