Florence 2022 Florence, Italy MSMU Travels

Coffee Gelato With a View

Welcome to Gelato Giovedì! For those who don’t know, “giovedì” means “Thursday” in Italian. I will be going out every week to try a new flavor of gelato and talk about it and what we’ve done during the week! My first flavor: Cafè / coffee! 

Back at home, I love to drive around on warm days, the windows rolled down and my radio turned up too loud. The best of those days was when I would drive to Dunkin’ Donuts and get my usual mocha iced coffee with cream and sugar. When I order it, I am reminded of summer and of home. So, when we went to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa last Saturday, getting the coffee gelato felt like I was home again, especially with the perfect, warm weather and the pure happiness I felt at actually seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person. 

We were given a wonderful guided tour of the church and the baptistry located next to the tower. Noting how old these buildings were and thinking about how much history must have happened in them made me realize how far away from home I actually am. I haven’t felt homesick too often, but there are times when I have to pause what I’m doing because I miss my loved ones so much. This was one of those moments: As the tour ended, I was left thinking about home and wishing I had my loved ones with me so they could experience it all, too. The moment, however, was short-lived: There was gelato to be bought and eaten! 

Once we were given free rein to do what we wanted for the next hour, a friend and I set off on a quest for some gelato. We found a modest gelateria with a cute little blue bear on the side. I wanted to get a cheesecake flavor – the best gelato flavor – but they didn’t have it. I almost went with the classic chocolate when one of the signs caught my eye: Cafѐ. Coffee. Getting it and walking through Pisa felt like home and Italy colliding together in the best way possible. 

The gelato was perfect. Smooth and creamy, it tasted just like iced coffee and warm, summer days. I gave myself multiple brain freezes as I devoured it during our walk back so I could use the cone for a picture with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. My friend and I took a few minutes to stand in line to enter the tower, so I had a few extra minutes to eat; but as we got closer to the entrance, I realized they probably wouldn’t let me up with food. Not wanting to have to eat the cone before the picture or throw it away, I discreetly placed it in the inside pocket of my jacket, hoping that the gelato wouldn’t get on it and that no one was watching. 

Fortunately, everyone was too busy looking at the tower to notice a tiny American girl putting her ice cream cone inside her jacket. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize we had to buy tickets. So, we left the line and went to take our pictures with the tower. We got plenty of us pretending to push the tower up, and I was able to hold my now-empty cone up so that I was holding the tower with it.

It was by far the most perfect day we’ve had on the trip so far. With the beautiful weather, delicious gelato, and the chance to actually see Pisa in person, I think it will be hard to top that day! A few friends and I plan on taking another day trip to Pisa during spring break, and I fully plan on getting more of the coffee gelato from the cute gelateria with the blue bear. We are going to Rome this weekend, and I look forward to eating a new flavor of gelato as we explore the ancient streets of Rome! 

Ci vediamo giovedì prossimo, con gelato da Roma! (See you next Thursday with gelato from Rome!)

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