After two phenomenal months of travel in South East Asia, specifically Myanmar, Bali and Sri Lanka, we are heading back to Chicago, in the U.S.
Ben’s job beckons, family awaits……
As is the way we do things, we have purchased one way tickets to Asia, and we are now faced with a decision of some lovely choices. Where to stop en route for a few days as we make our way back?
Our bouquet of options : Paris, Amsterdam or Rome.
Paris and Amsterdam are two of our favorite cities in Europe and we have been to both of these cities many times together. Paris is also Ben’s home “town” and Amsterdam feels like home to both of us.
Rome, on the other hand, is a city Ben has never visited, and Peta has only been there as a child. Therefore, we choose Rome for our stopover.
A direct flight from Sri Lanka to Rome delivers a whole new (short) adventure: we spend three days walking and walking, exploring and enjoying – until our feet are killing us – and eating until we are bursting at the seams.
We have arrived from warm weather in SE Asia and we have no warm clothes, and it is mid winter in Europe. However, luck is on our side and we are blessed with temperate weather in the low fifties, pretty unusual for this time of year. I buy a sweater and a warm cap and we are all set.
Rome is a beautiful city for walking. We are not ones for tourist sites and prefer to stroll, get lost and see what comes our way.
Before we get to the important topic of gelato, let’s not forget the pasta, the ubiquitous pizza and other favorites such as gnocchi (yum) and artichoke bruschetta!
One culinary surprise in Rome — the “Jewish style artichoke” which is a whole artichoke fried till crispy, leaves, heart and all..
Delicious bowl of hand-made pasta in a small taverna, Rome.
We are delighted to come across an open air food market, where we buy artisanal cheeses to pack in our suitcase to take a little taste of Rome back to Chicago with us.
In Paris, we once went on a quest to find the best and most perfect croissant. Our search led us to old and new neighborhoods, sampling the goods in order to give ratings for the most crispy, the most delicious croissant, etc. Such hard work! (The winner in case you are wondering was a small café in the neighborhood Ben grew up in…).
If Paris inspires a quest for the perfect croissant, it is appropriate for Rome to morph into empirical data collection into the perfect gelato.
Let’s turn therefore to the topic and the important question of this post, which is;
Is there such a thing as TOO much gelato???
I, Peta, did my research before we land in Rome. I have a list of names, addresses and recommendations of the best gelaterias. We walk, we jump on buses (where payment is optional!), we visit many neighborhoods and many gelaterias.
The gelateria is a part of Italian life, especially in the summer, and locals all have their favorite flavors and choice spots to enjoy this delectable treat. Italian gelato is created by skilled artisans and is different to ice cream. The ingredients are usually all natural, there is less butterfat and less air than ice cream, all giving gelato a more intense, unique creamy flavor. The flavors are also determined by what fruits are in season.
Our favorites were the unusual flavors, like lavender with white peach, pear with caramel and baccio (which is chocolate and hazelnut praline). We eat (ahem, “sample”) a LOT of gelato!
For readers who might want to validate our findings, should you find yourselves in Rome ~ The hands down winner is: “Gelateria Del Teatro” ~ Via Dei Coronair 65, Roma.
And yes…, sadly there IS such a thing as TOO MUCH gelato.
Ben, armed with a French-groomed intestine, is fine. I, however, might have overdosed on gelato.
My stomach, not used to sugar, is not happy with me after three days. I do not feel all that great on the plane. Ha, ha…
Was it worth it? Hell yeah! Ok, maybe next time I will restrict myself to one gelato a day. Maybe…
Thanks for our comments and feedback ~
We love hearing from you!
Have you done similar “market research” of your favorite foods while traveling?