During my trip, eating gelato (Italian version of ice cream) was one of my favorite pastimes. As your intrepid (!) correspondent, it was my solemn duty to eat as much gelati as possible, in order to give you, dear reader, a good account of the tasty treats not to be missed. :D
One of the memorable gelaterias i experienced was Gelateria Vernazza, billed as "Artisan Gelato of the Cinque Terre."
Inside the shop, i asked the elderly woman behind the counter if i could take a photo of the poster on the wall (see below), and she gladly agreed. Turned out she was the widow of Pino (check the heart sign, with "a Pino"), and she said that even though he was gone, he lived on in her heart.
|Gelateria Vernazza poster|
Their gelato (i forgot the flavor) was proved to be quite tasty and refreshing.
Grom is reputed to be one of the very best gelaterias in Italy, and i saw a couple of their shops in Rome, and one each in Venice and Florence. And there are invariably long queues emanating from their stores, so my expectations were quite high.
I chanced upon one of their branches in Florence, and ordered this cup with 3 flavors, namely: Crema di GROM (Egg cream, 'meliga' biscuits and dark chocolate), Cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate), and Cassata siciliana (fresh ricotta with candied citron, orange and lemon).
Absolutely divine! You can tell that the ingredients are top-notch. I was licking my plastic spoon when i finished the cup.
Hello Newman had recommended that i try out La Carraia, one of his favorites. I stumbled upon it while searching for an internet cafe nearby:
|La Carraia in Florence|
I remembered i ordered the Pistachio and Cioccolato fondente (see below) flavors, and Newman was right - i felt two scoops were not enough!
|Looks and tastes delicious!|
While our guide Raffaele was doing our orientation walk in Rome, we passed by the famous Il Gelato di San Crispino and dropped by. I ordered one scoop each of Basil and Rum Cacao flavors (see below).
|Il Gelato di San Crispino in Rome|
Both flavors on their own were quite intense; and combined, even more so. Really, really good gelato!
Unfortunately, there were misses, too. One of them was this one:
|latoG in Rome|
Their pistachio tasted sort of weird, i can't describe it except to say it was just "off", while the Cioccolato al Cacao was just okay, nothing to write home about.
Another one that disappointed was Mariotti Gelateria, right at the edge of Piazza Navona in Rome (just a 2-minute walk from my hotel).
|Mariotti Gelateria in Rome|
Mariotti boasts of one of the widest array of gelato flavors, such that it was rather hard to choose which ones to order. They serve some unique ones which are not found elsewhere, such as soy. And this one:
|Viagra gelato, anyone?|
Yup, Viagra gelato. I didn't order it, and i don't remember anymore what flavors i did order, but they were lacking in taste. No wonder there were only a few people inside their store, compared to the jampacked Grom shop right next to them
Speaking of Grom, obviously a return trip was in order, right? I ordered the Cioccolato fondente again, and paired it with Fiordelatte (Whole milk, cream and sugar). Great contrast - ciocolatto was pure bombast, while fiordelatte was sublime. :D
|GROM in Rome|
Whilst waiting for my flight back to Manila at the airport, one last gelato stop was in order. Thankfully, di San Crispino had an outlet there.
This cup was composed of Valrhona (a French company) chocolate, which was intense; and ginger + cinnamon, which proved to be sweet, yet without being cloying. Super sarap! Molto benne!
|Il Gelato Di San Crispino at the airport!|
Some of my tour mates were kidding me about my predeliction for gelato, and i joked that i was starting a new system of measuring physical activity, called the "Gelato Scoop Equivalents (GSEs)."
For example, climbing up the 463 steps up the Duomo in Florence would be equivalent to three (3) GSEs (meaning i could reward myself with 3 scoops, after all that huffing and puffing to reach the top)
Got it? Let's try another example. Lifting heavy luggage up the train station stairs and onto the overhead compartment of the train...that would be 2 GSEs, thank you. And so on.
Of course, sitting on a gondola in Venice = ZERO GSEs!
(This concludes the Intrepido Italiano series. I'm as pleased as punch for outdoing myself - total of 7 posts for this trip. ;-D)