The Italian habit of dressing up for an evening stroll and having a cup of coffee with friends has a lot to recommend it.
It’s social, and give you a chance to wear great clothes outside of “an occasion”.
Bedfordians are being encouraged to take a “Passeggiata” of their own, strolling round town and sipping a smooth coffee, by artist Laura Pottinger.
She said despite one-in-five residents claiming Italian heritage, and an abundance of independent cafes in town, the regular ritual of walking and talking, meeting friends for coffee or an aperitif has yet to catch on in Bedford.
She added: “The cultural performance of La Passeggiata is one of my favourite things about visiting other European cities so I was keen to bring it home this summer.
“Like everyone, I get so caught up with work and family that I struggle to see my friends and meeting them for an early evening coffee is a great way to stay in touch and catch up on gossip.”
The first Bedford Passeggiata took place on Friday, which saw people taking a wander in Bedford Park, stroll down De Parys Avenue (popping into the D’Parys for an ice cream), amble along St Peter Street past the new Quarry Theatre, down St Cuthbert’s and along Castle Road to the Puddin’ Club. They then walked along the Embankment to La Piazza in St Paul’s Square, on to Harpur Square and up Harpur Street and through the Arcade to Gallone’s or Coffee With Art.
There is a second opportunity to join the organised La Passeggiata on Friday, August 28, from 5pm to 8pm.
The route takes in La Piazza, Gallone’s Ice Cream Parlour, Window at Pavilion in the Park (to 6pm), Kiosk in the Park (to 6pm), Puddin’ Club (to 10.30pm) D’parys (to 11pm), The Embankment (to 11pm) and Coffee with Art.
The event is supported by Bedford Creative Arts.