Put on your gladrags and head for the lungomare on a sunny sunday or the top end of of the via dei mercanti and the corso in the evening for a great people watching experience.
La Passegiata has always been an integral part of Italian social life, whether in the small rural villages in the mountains, the seaside cities and towns of the coastline or the industrial metropolises of the North, young ‘innamorati’, (couples in love), excited teens, whole families with immaculately turned out kids, and slow moving elders would slip on their gladrags to congregate and meet at a predetermined point and time to chat, flirt, preen and generally have fun in the carnival atmosphere that is the Passgiata.
In Salerno La Passegiata took place on the Lungomare Trieste, stretching along the seafront from Piazza della Concordia which boasted a ship converted into a Seafood restaurant up to the public gardens 2 miles north. The promenade offered many opportunities to stop, mingle, chat and meet ,with lots of beautiful mosaic benches under the palm trees and by the water fountains where you could stop and perfect the pastime of people watching or the art of flirting.
Teenagers tended to congregate outside their favourite bars and the seafront area surrounding it, listening to the jukeboxes blasting out the hits of the moment and groups of them would take a walk up the promenade to buy the best lemon gelati on the coast , made daily and served from cast iron booth not far from the Municipio or Town Hall.
In later years the area for La Passegiata seemed to have moved away from the seafront to Corso Garibaldi with its designer shops and along the newly gentrified ancient area ‘Via dei Mercanti’ boasting quaint little shops and cools bars. Times and fashions may move on, places and streets may change but I hope the wonderful tradition that is La Passegiata goes on forever.
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