Join the Jamestown ”la passeggiata” by walking downtown on Thursday.
La passeggiata is an Italian term for a stroll and it is a traditional act by Italians to take walks after work in the evening. Tom Franco, creator of the Jamestown Stroll, wants Jamestown residents to join him the third Thursday of each month to take la passeggiata downtown.
”I read an article about how the county is unhealthy. It was talking about obesity,” Franco said. ”So, I started walking more. In European countries they walk more, and their obesity rate is lower than in the U.S.”
Franco said he is on an ad hoc committee for the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk, which led him to discussing his idea of starting a walking event with city officials. City officials then led Franco to talk about his idea with the leaders of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. From there, the first Jamestown Stroll was held March 20, which was the first day of spring.
”It was a cold, snowy night, but we had 20 people show up. Then we had the Italian Dancers at the (Dr. Lillian V. Ney) Renaissance Center,” Franco said. ”We got out and walked, and then stopped at Cibo to get some coffee. On a cold night we needed to get some coffee.”
Franco said he hopes people will join him downtown to walk for exercise and to also visit downtown businesses.
”People can walk for 20 or 30 minutes and stop in at the Taco Hut for something to eat or go to the Wine Cellar for a cocktail,” he said.
Franco said the downtown area also has a very good walkability score. The city of Jamestown has an average walk score of 52 out of 100. However, Third Street and Harrison Street has a walk score of 88 out of 100, Franco said. These locations are very walkable so errands can be accomplished on foot. These locations are also close to city parks and the Riverwalk.
”From the (Jamestown Savings Bank) Arena to City Hall is about a third of a mile. So if you walk that back-and-forth, you walk about two-thirds of a mile. That is a nice little walk,” he said. ”So people should get downtown, and enjoy walking our downtown.”
Franco said the Jamestown Stroll doesn’t start at an exact time. He said between 5-8 p.m. is a good time to be walking downtown.