…should it be listed by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage?
It is when the winter of our discontent melts into the mild late afternoon spring lights or when like this year autumn is just a continuation of summer that all Sicilians renovate their eternal tradition known as ‘u passiu.
La passeggiata for the Italians, el paseo for the Spaniards this is one of the most traditional way to socialise and enjoy the good weather shared by many people and cultures around the Mediterranean sea. And it is the most lovely and enjoyable moments of spring, summer and autumn, especially if it is done in a small village where everybody is a real professional of the art of passiari and where it is always a good excuse to sip a strong coffee, an almond milk or taste a refreshing granita or gelato.
But if you expect to find in Sicily the old fashioned passiu where the gender separation was strictly respected and li masculi schietti passianu cu li masculi e li fimmini schiette passianu cu li fimmini (men walk with men and women with women, unless they are married) you really have to go to some of the most remote villages where the good old days still try to survive. Otherwise just follow the crowd, stop in a bar for a cold beer or an ice cream and then go on with your passiu sicilianu…
Gianluca D’Alia, Paesaggio Sicilia Tours