Happy Vernal Equinox, everyone! And in honor of this first day of Spring (which Rome is really honoring quite nicely – way to clear up yesterday’s drizzle!), I offer you a delicious and refreshing new portmanteau: passeggelato.
Passeggelato is derived from two of Italy’s most enduring and loveable pastimes – the afternoon passeggiata and the unbridled consumption of gelato. For the uninitiated, a passeggiata is at first just a fancy-sounding word for a walk, but really is more of a cultural institution. The evening passeggiata with friends, the walking-off-Sunday’s-giant-lunch passeggiata with family. It can even be more of an excursion – “Let’s take a passeggiata up the Gianicolo!”. But no matter how you slice it, a passeggiata’s best form is the one that involves the presence of gelato. And gelato, as if I really need to explain it to you, is frozen heaven. Thus, a passeggelato is a walk one takes on a lovely spring afternoon in the presence of good company and a panna-topped cone of gelato. Take a look outside, everyone. I think it’s the perfect day for a passaggelato.