Literally, “to do a walk” – fare una passeggiata is truly a national phenomenon. Nothing like a gorgeous spring Sunday afternoon to bring people out in droves to the countryside – to go for a walk is the embodiment of relaxation, health, vitality, living life to its fullest, and quality time with friends and family. There need be no reason other than to just go.
The sun is out, the air is warm and fresh, the trees and grass are bursting with new growth. Flowers are everywhere. The hills are alive, vines recently pruned and tied back, are eager to bear fruit, to correct the disappointments of last year’s poor harvest. Orchards are in full bloom. Lazy farm cats soak up the evening sun and let the lizards alone to chase insects for an evening meal. Everywhere you look are signs of spring, and we walk without purpose.
The cares of the world melt away and we are left among nature to contemplate our thoughts and our futures. Without distraction we are left clear-headed, our minds free of concern as we soak up the last rays of evening sun. Conversation comes naturally among friends, not held captive by any expectations, or obligations, just walking among the vines, through the olive groves, under the trees.
The countryside, while assessable to us, is not the only venue for this phenomenon. City walks. Neighborhood walks. Seaside walks. All are appropriate. Walk where you can, when you can. Age doesn’t matter either. As a pastime it is not limited to the young. Without purpose means there is no need to hurry. This isn’t a race! It’s about taking it all in, and making the most of the experience. Learn about gardening, or give advice, to those you encounter along on route. Look out for cars, and shout a friendly warning to those ahead. It’s not so much a code as a courtesy to make sure your fellow walkers don’t get run over.
Regardless your circumstance, location, or worldview, this is an activity that truly benefits the wellbeing of humankind. Stroll through the park, a field, along the shore, or around the block. Fare una passeggiata. The experience, the lifestyle. A rejuvenation. Enjoy.