In Italy, every evening at around five o’clock, Italians partake in a time-honored tradition: they go out with full hair and makeup (well-dressed, of course) and they get their stroll on. In Italy it’s called La Passeggiata and it’s kind of a big deal. It’s a time to see and be seen, a time to catch up with neighbors after a long day at work, maybe sip on an aperitif and just generally wind down before heading in for dinner.
Growing up we had our own American-suburbs version of this treasured Italian pastime. My parents would head out to the driveway in the evenings with their lawn chairs and as they watched us kids ride our bikes or play in the green lawns, the neighbors would trickle in after the work day was done and the adults would mingle and gossip before heading in for dinner. It’s one of my fondest childhood memories, that magical time in twilight, racing my bike down the street or kicking a ball with neighborhood friends before homework called us back in.
As an adult with my own kids now we keep the tradition alive. Most nights we head out front and swing or play catch or blow bubbles and inevitably the neighbors will walk by with their dogs and strollers and we’ll catch up and make plans and enjoy those last few hours of light before dinner and the bedtime routine. Is there anything more suburban than that?
Sometimes we take family walks around the neighborhood or, my personal favorite, we go for a family bike ride. The two littlest are still in a bike trailer but the older two get to enjoy that total freedom and happiness that bicycles bring.
I had been using my husband’s Specialized bike for awhile but needed something more casual and definitely more comfortable for a leisurely ride around the ‘burbs. If you’re looking for the same, I recommend Bianchi’s Venezia Dama. You can check it out or buy one here.
I bought mine in Celeste. It’s the perfect cruiser bike, with a large seat cushion and comfortable leather handlebars in a stylish caramel color that pair perfectly with the Celeste metal frame. It even has a bell people!
It only has 3 gears which is perfect for a low-maintenance ride. And there’s a flat metal component in the back, perfect for tying down school bags or items from a small grocery run when I’m biking to the grocery store and trying to be all European for the day (usually after a particularly enticing episode of House Hunters International, sigh).
I love how smoothly it rides too! Every time I take it out I get compliments and creeping cars that eventually stop to ask me where to find one! We had ours specially ordered from Cool Cat Cycles and our experience was super enjoyable. They were great about letting the kids ride around on bikes while we talked Bianchi perks (there are a lot of them!) and the bike arrived in just one week! They assembled it for me and texted me a picture when it was ready. Katya was very knowledgeable about Bianchi which was great since I didn’t know much about the brand before entering the store. If you’re in the area, definitely check them out! I’m now a Bianchi lifer, that’s for sure.
So whether you’re in the market for a new bike or just looking to upgrade your style points during those precious family bike rides, take a look at Bianchi. As you cruise, I dare you not to feel transported to Italy, with it’s cobblestone streets and fresh pasta smells wafting through the air. There’s plenty of room for a baguette on the back of that Bianchi, so go get your European daydream on!