The Italian Passeggiata

Enjoy a traditional stroll like the Italians do

The Italian Passeggiata
The Italian Passeggiata

Have you ever heard of "la passeggiata" in Italy?
It translates literally to "the stroll" and is a traditional cultural institution throughout Italy.
Usually taking place in the evenings either before dinner around aperitivo time, the Italian passeggiata is a great way to get to know Sorrento better and enjoy a local pastime.

What is the Italian passeggiata?

The passeggiata is an Italian cultural tradition, especially in small towns.
It's a place for local residents to come out of their homes to "see and be seen," to visit with their neighbors and friends, and to get a bit of healthy exercise and Mediterranean fresh air in the process.

The typical passeggiata can last for hours, strolling leisurely up and down the same main street or winding through smaller lanes. Most towns have a typical road that's well known for the evening passeggiata, typically between the hours of 5 pm to 8 pm. Another tradition is the weekend passeggiata, which can take place before or after the big traditional Sunday lunch.
Saturdays are a great day for a passeggiata along with window shopping and people-watching.

Where can I go for la passeggiata in Sorrento?

Sorrento comes to life when locals and visitors enjoy the traditional ritual of the passeggiata.
Since the passeggiata usually takes place in the town's biggest and broadest main street, in Sorrento you should definitely head to Corso Italia. Corso Italia is a long street that crosses all of Sorrento's main center.

Corso Italia and Piazza Tasso

Corso Italia, Sorrento's main shopping street, leads directly to Piazza Tasso, which is the largest and most central square in town. This part of Corso Italia is fully pedestrian-only, so it's ideal for a leisurely stroll without having to worry about traffic and cars.

A perfectly easy route is going up and down Corso Italia to Via San Cesareo, one of the oldest streets in town.

Our favorite gelato
As you enjoy your passeggiata, take time to window shop and maybe even stop for an aperitivo, a caffè, or a gelato.
One of our favorite gelato shops is Raki, on via San Cesareo.

Aperitivo Time
Two of our favorite bars in Sorrento that are perfect for an aperitivo during your passeggiata are Syrenuse and Bar del Carmine, both in Piazza Tasso. If you want to do some serious people watching during the passeggiata time, head to Fauno Bar.

Cafés and Bars in Sorrento

If you want to so some shopping during your passeggiata, Corso Italia is the place, with many luxury boutiques as well as other local shops. During the summer, most shops stay open late.

Another site to visit during your passeggiata is the Sorrento Cathedral (Cattedrale dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo) also known as the Duomo.

Insider Tips: Self-guided Sorrento walking tour

Christmas in Sorrento
Corso Italia in Sorrento is crowded on weekends and, during the Christmas period, there is a cult of the passeggiata here, among the Christmas lights and colors.

Where else can I go for a passeggiata on the Amalfi Coast?

If you're going to be traveling throughout the towns and islands of the Amalfi Coast, make sure you partake in the evening stroll in each of the locations you visit. Here are our pointers for the best spots to see and be seen throughout the area.

The most famous place to see and be seen on Capri is most definitely Via Camerelle, the island's chic destination for luxury shopping. Get ready for some iconic people-watching on your stroll, and don't be surprised if you spot a famous face!

Via Pasitea is the place to be for a passeggiata when you're in Positano. The only street that goes through town, it's a wide pedestrian lane that takes you along the cliff and down to the water, with lots of local boutiques lining the way.

When visiting Amalfi, the best place for an evening passeggiata is the street in front of the town's cathedral, which is located in Piazza Duomo. You can stop for a drink in one of the elegant outdoor bars in the square, and browse the shops and stands filled with colorful local ceramics and Amalfi Coast food specialties.

Even the large city of Naples has its special place for the passeggiata, Via Toledo. This street dates all the way back to the year 1536 and is just over 1 km long, running from Piazza Dante to Piazza Trieste e Trento.
Via Toledo is one of the most famous streets in Naples and is full of shopping and important tourist sites such as Teatro San Carlo, the Palazzo Reale di Napoli (Royal Palace), and one of the city's most famous public squares, Piazza del Plebiscito.