18 April 2018 Everyone knows Italians know how to enjoy life. Lo Struscio is not just a cultural practice, but a lifestyle. It asks that people put away their worries and get out and about, to see and to be seen. Friends, families and neighbours converge in piazzas and main streets to walk, socialize and eat. La dolce vita! [caption id="attachment_6392" align="aligncenter" width="683"] Lo struscio under pink umbrellas Without question, we live in a fast-moving time. New technology, new discoveries, new news flood us on a daily basis. It is therefore not surprising that so many of us are seeking balance in our day-to-day lives, finding moments to slow down and appreciate the lives we lead. Over the almost two years I have lived in Italy, I have always been struck by the way people here come together to socialize and unwind with graceful ease. A stroll down the main street, a stop for a chat with a friend or an enjoyable aperitivo to recount your day with a glass of wine and a bowl of olives. These types of daily activities are artful in their ability to melt stress. Italians have this knack of putting all their worries aside, even for a moment, to enjoy their surroundings and interact with their community. They have perfected this lifestyle in an activity called lo struscio. What is it exactly? [caption id="attachment_6386" align="aligncenter" width="683"] An Italian Piazza - by Joseph Pearson A cultural fixture of every city, town and village, lo struscio can most simply be defined as taking a walk. But what truly makes it an art is how and where this walk takes place. The main strada is limited to traffic in the evenings and on weekends so that citizens can leisurely stroll and enjoy the outdoors. Lined with shops, cafes and often a central piazza or park, the street itself becomes the social hub of the town. Everyone comes out to walk up and down the street, stopping to chat or grab an espresso. In the evening everyone settles into a bar for an aperitivo, sipping on glasses of wine and stretching out the enjoyment, like the curds of mozzarella. Why is it important? [caption id="attachment_6390" align="aligncenter" width="683"] The flower shop Lo struscio is societal glue. Neighbours become friends, kids run around, teenagers hang around in groups acting cool, parents enjoy a bit of freedom and the Nonni congregate to chat. An all-ages activity that brings the whole town together, literally. Now that Spring is finally showing itself, the stradas of Italy are filling up with people milling about and letting go of the day’s worries. In my little town, the outdoor patios are overflowing, the people are walking and the cherry blossoms are blooming. It makes me never want to leave. Try your hand at lo struscio on your next Grand Wine Tour Pass an afternoon strolling the main streets, where the locals hang out, on your next trip to Italy. The Grand Wine Tour is the best way to discover Italian culture through wine, lo struscio is the best way to then enjoy Italian culture with wine. Go home at the end of the trip feeling relaxed and try to bring the practice of lo struscio to your own community! The Grand Wine Tour is a mark of excellence in hospitality distinguishing Italian wineries throughout the country. Book your tasting and tour today!