There are many reasons behind our coming to Sicily, but one near the top of our list is the opportunity it, and all of Italy, really—and also much of Europe—provides to get outside for a walk. It seems here, borrowing the words of Jack Kerouac, "there is nowhere to go but everywhere."
Literature, cinema, art, even science is filled with inspirational testimonies and examples highlighting the benefits of taking an aimless walk. In many languages there's a specific word for it. Passeggiata, in Italian. Spaziergang, in German and in Spanish, Paseo. The French call it a promenade, which is probably the closest comparable cousin to the idea in English, but honestly, the only time I think I've ever even heard it used in English described a shopping mall, or the famous pedestrian walkway in Brooklyn. But those are nouns not verbs.
Maybe I'm wrong and there are others I'm not familiar with, but I feel the closest word we have in English to describe aimlessly walking is stroll, which is itself a derivative of the German word strolchen, which means to roam, travel about aimlessly, drift, rove. In that definition I feel even we are sometimes over-acheivers with our walks.
Nonetheless, we've been nuturing our affair with walking for over three decades, even before we became a couple. A pair of avid strollers-in-training. We just didn't know it. From the days we spent in the Army on road marches:
To living in Germany and taking part in volksmarches, otherwise known as non-competitive fitness walking, which hello, you had me at non-competitive. Sign us all up:
Our many Walks to Cure Diabetes:
Family backpacking trips in the Blue Ridge Mountains:
And traveling by foot along the streets of Tarboro to and from our bakery:
And now, we have this, the Italian passeggiata, alone, with strangers and especially with friends and family, a great way to roam and rove about:
In Sicily, as in most of Europe, they take their walking quite seriously and need no excuse to walk, it's certainly not to arrive anywhere. The purpose is walking.
And you can do it anywhere. These cobblestone streets were made for walking, and in parks, the trails are well documented, often ancient roads, in fact, passing through fields of wheat, enchanting small towns, and along breath-taking mountain ridges. Not only are they a fantastic way to discover this wondrous island but they connect Sicily to a host of medieval pilgrimages found throughout Europe.
We’ve almost restocked our supplies from having gotten rid of most all of it to move, and can’t wait for the trek that awaits!
To learn more about trekking throughout Sicily and Italy, check out these accounts for a treasure trove of information, and as always, if you have any questions you'd like to pose to me, I'm happy to respond.
Hope to see you on the road!