Specifically Rome, Florence, Siena and San Gimignano – gorgeous, breathtaking, interesting and just a superb visit! We were fortunate enough that our “tour guides” in Tuscany were our dear friends who’d travelled to Italy many times so we got the best commentary, viewpoint, previous thoughts etc etc – it really was great fun.
Rome we were left to our own devices flying in there first and we basically walked the city and took in as much as we could. Talking of walking, there is something the Italians call passeggiata which means evening stroll. We saw it in Rome, Florence San Gim and of course Siena.
For those of you who’ve visited you know what I mean, but it really struck me in Siena. This is where they hold the Palio each year, horses and riders thundering around the town square, and if you have visited you know how absolutely squashed and tiny the “square” is – not for the feint-hearted.
However, in this stunning city with cobbled and winding streets, the passeggiata seemed more prominent to me. Perhaps it was the fact that pushing baby strollers up and down made it more of a squish to us tourists, maybe there were more locals out when we went? I’m not sure.
I did come to the conclusion this has to be one of the most civilized things to do. Everyone of all ages does it, the whole family does it, everyone gets dressed up to see and be seen. It’s fun, it’s engaging, one catches up on the gossip and local news. It works up an appetite for dinner, it gives the ankle-biters a chance to have a bit of nap being pushed around in a baby chair. And above all it gives everyone the opportunity to wind down, to relax, to walk off the stresses of the day, to think about something else – I mean how wonderful!?!
Instead of flopping down in front of the TV, or cramming in the last few emails of the day, or miserably grabbing dins whilst helping with Tarquin’s homework or worse perhaps hitting the vino, wouldn’t it be lovely to go out and have a stroll and see your friends, family and acquaintances. You can tell I am absolutely sold on the idea can’t you.
The American’s don’t do it as they drive everywhere, the French don’t do it because they sit in cafes looking erudite, the Spanish do it a little but they’re more about sitting and watching and the Brits, well their weather isn’t the most conducive to an evening stroll.
Here at SoffiaB we’re all about helping life to be a little calmer, and this is one of the more enjoyable ways that has so many health benefits. Perhaps if one could make it any better it would be perambulating in your dressing gown, preferably your SoffiaB robe!
Look Gorgeous, Feel Fabulous - Sophie