I have written about the best ice cream I’ve had, so I thought this time I’d write about the best gelato. For this, we’d have to go to Croatia. I remember walking into the gates of Old Town in Dubrovnik and seeing everyone walking around holding ice cream cones. Being a marketer, I can attest that there isn’t any better advertisement one can ask for than that. That day, my boyfriend was not feeling too well and I told him, feeling envy towards the cone holders, that gelato will make everything feel better. Little did we know that we will be eating the best ones we’ve had. I approached the vendor with the flavors piled high displayed in the glass case and asked for the cones and bought chocolate for him, chocolate chip for me. We sat down by the fountain and started eating — I have said in my ice cream post that I microwave my ice cream when at home to get to my desired consistency, and this was just perfect, no microwave required. Creamy, just the right sweetness, a chocoholic’s feed for the afternoon, and just the right drug that cured my ailing boyfriend that day!
We can say it’s the best because when we got to Florence the same week (we were on a Mediterranean cruise), we of course sampled authentic Italian gelato (featured image). He had mint chocolate, and I had cookies and cream, which I liked very much, but it did not come close to the smoothness in texture and creaminess of the ones we had in Dubrovnik.
We also went to two more gelato shops in Rome during our second visit there just this November. One place, we chanced upon after walking for hours (which we do a whole lot of when we’re traveling) and felt we needed a snack. Galateria II Cono D’Oro was dainty, nicely decorated in pink and purple. It’s how you would except a cupcake or ice cream shop to be decorated, I suppose.
I ordered mine in a cone and my boyfriend wanted to try his on brioche (a little context: we read a few things about in Sicily you can have gelato on brioche for breakfast, and I have told him stories about growing up in the Philippines where you can get ice cream from street vendors and they will sell them to you on bread). We went upstairs and ate in a very lovely nook. He did not like the gelato on brioche (pictured below) at all, saying that the bread got too soggy.
Lastly, since I am in love with the book Eat, Pray, Love, my loving boyfriend made sure he navigated and got us to Il Gelato Di San Crispino. The establishment, to those unfamiliar to the book, believes only in fresh, natural ingredients. No toppings, not even cones. I got pistachio, and he got vanilla combined with another flavor I believe which I honestly could no longer recall. They had much smaller servings and the place was crowded. The flavor combinations were unusual, but not as good as we’ve had.
So what was it in the gelato that helped make my boyfriend feel better that day in Dubrovnik? What is it in sweets in general that can bring a smile to our faces during the toughest of days, turn a frown around in a child throwing a temper tantrum? I believe it just may be the shared joy we get from it, multiplied twofold or more, that make it much more. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Just grab a cone or a cup or even scoops on brioche, take a break, and enjoy, because it is the little moments in life that matter. (Last photo: taken at a gelato shop in Marmaris, Turkey)