Italian are being encouraged to abandon their cars and get out some flat shoes on 14 October to participate in the ‘1a Giornata Nazionale del Camminare’ (First National Walking Day).
Events will be held throughout the boot: in Comano Terme, Trentino in northern Italy, Bologna, Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples and beyond in towns like Capoterra, Cagliari in Sardinia and Lentini, Siracusa in Sicily. Walkers will take to the countryside and city pavements. In Rome, for example, walks are being organised that take in its streets, parks, villas and even underground Early Christian cemeteries.
FederTrek walking association is spearheading the initiative in collaboration with ‘Trekking & Outdoor’ magazine with the co-operation of the Ministero dell’Ambiente (Environment Ministry). It aims to promote the physical and health benefits of walking as well as encourage Italians to leave behind their cars to head to work and school by foot, on bikes or on public transport in an effort to reduce pollution. The organisers hope that participants will rediscover lost corners of their towns and cities, and that the event will encourage town planners to consider pedestrians in future projects.
Information on how to participate is available at the Giornata del Camminare website along with promotional material including a tongue-in-cheek video that shows a stylish young woman in fashionable – and in Italy, ubiquitous – skyscraper high-heel platforms being persuaded to get out of her car to relax, feel free and walk.