Italian word for the week: Passeggiata

Learn the root and meaning of the Italian word ‘passeggiata’, and how the locals really use it…

Couple walking in plaza in Siena with gelato

The Italian word ‘Passeggiata’ (from passo – to step, or pace) literally means ‘a walk’. As a verb, ‘to walk’, we use ‘passeggiare’.

Present, past, and future tense:

  • Oggi passaggio nel parco.
    Today, I walk in the park.
  • Ieri ho passeggiato nel parco.
    Yesterday, I walked in the park.
  • Domani passerò nel parco.
    Tomorrow, I will walk in the park.

This word might translate literally to “walk” in English, but its meaning in the Bel Paese runs deeper than a mere stroll in the park.

Fare una passeggiata’ isn’t just putting one foot in front of the other; it’s a traditional evening ritual that’s as much about connection as it is about movement.

When the sun starts its lazy descent, and the streets are bathed in the golden hues of early evening, Italians step out to embrace la passeggiata.

In the heart of the city, the bustling plaza, people stroll arm in arm, engaging in friendly conversation.

La passeggiata is a social occasion, rife with chatter, people-watching, window shopping, and often, gelato.

In some trendier locales, passeggiata becomes somewhat of a fashion show with residents donning their best clothes to head out and strut their stuff in the buzzing plaza.

And ultimately, this traditional, sociable stroll is a perfect pre-dinner activity in Italy. Nothing will help to build up an appetite for a delicious Italian meal like a stroll through a bustling piazza.

Example sentences with passeggiata:

  • Fare una passeggiata è un ottimo modo per stimolare l’appetito in vista di una grande cena.
    Going for an evening stroll is a great way to build up an appetite for a big dinner.
  • La mia passeggiata con un gelato è la parte migliore della mia giornata.
    My evening stroll with a gelato is the best part of my day.
  • Adoro vedere tutte le persone interessanti durante la mia passeggiata.
    I love to see all the interesting people while out on an evening stroll.

‘Passeggiata’ isn’t just a walk; it’s a timeless tradition filled with connections, laughter, and the very essence of Italy – and you don’t need to be a local to take part.

So, next time you find yourself on an Italian evening stroll, remember, you’re not just walking; you’re embracing ‘la dolce vita’ with every step.

Learn more Italian words by browsing our archives

Featured image © FilippoBacci via Getty Images