Ciao everyone! This week is my final week in Italy, and I’m choosing to spend it trying to eat as much gelato as possible and having fun with my amazing roommates. As I go out and walk around Florence with them, I’m keenly aware of how a mere three months ago these girls were complete strangers to me. Today, as we get ready to leave Florence, I realize how close we have become.
Originally I wasn’t supposed to be their roommate, but my apartment was changed at the last minute. As much as I love the girls I was supposed to live with, I will always be grateful for that last-minute switch. We’ve made so many amazing memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed doing most with them is going out to get gelato. Whether it be with all, some, or one of them, every trip to our favorite gelaterias was quite an adventure. Not once did we leave our apartment without something wild happening that we will always laugh about for the rest of our lives.
My favorite gelato flavor remains to be the rum and raisin flavor, Malaga, that I tried while in San Gimignano, but this week I continued to try flavors I haven’t had yet: crema di medici, pistachio, and vanilla.
I got the crema di medici with one of my roommates while our other two were away on the weekend-long trip to the Amalfi Coast. It was a very delicious flavor that I wish I had found sooner. I’m not sure exactly what was in it, but it tasted like brownies and salted caramel. We took the long way back to our apartment, wanting to do a little bit of sightseeing while we ate our gelato. We chose to go down streets we’d never seen before and although we didn’t see anything too interesting it was still fun to be walking around and laughing with her about silly things.
When I had the pistachio gelato, I’d gone with two of my roommates to a gelateria that was similar to a Sweet Frog or Skinny Dip in America: it allowed us to serve the gelato ourselves by pulling on a lever in the wall and letting us pour however much gelato we wanted into our cups and then top it with any of the six toppings they offered.
I got the pistachio with crumbled nuts on top, and once our gelato was weighed and paid for, the three of us made our way up to the second floor of the gelateria and sat on the balcony. We watched the customers filter in and out, watched people stream past the windows, and ate our gelato in peaceful silence. The gelateria had a ceiling painted like a sky and wooden swings suspended from the “sky” and hanging over the main floor.
Pistachio is a very popular flavor here. I love eating pistachios at home in America, but I couldn’t imagine eating pistachio-flavored everything. During my time here, I think I’ve only had one thing that was pistachio flavored, but I don’t even remember what it was.
While I liked the pistachio gelato, I didn’t really see what the big hype is. Maybe it was just that gelateria’s recipe? I’m not sure. I might try it again in a few years, when I come back to Italy (because I will be coming back to Italy in the future), or even in America if I can find it. And if I don’t, that’s fine too. I don’t think I’ll be missing out on much.
A few days later I went out again with my roommates to the gelateria nearest to us. We have ended many nights by going there and getting either refreshing gelato or warm crepes, and it’s definitely on my list of things I’ll miss most when we leave.
I got vanilla gelato this time. It was good, but it wasn’t as sweet as I expected it to be. And there was something slightly off about the texture, but I’m not sure how to explain it. It wasn’t bad, but, like the pistachio, I don’t think I would choose to get it again. At least not from that place; I might try it again at another one, or I might not. Again, not unlike the pistachio, I don’t think I’ll be too upset about not getting it again.
I certainly won’t miss it nearly as much as I’m going to miss Florence. This has truly been quite the adventure for all of us. There have been many highs and many lows, but all in all, this has been a fantastic experience that we won’t soon forget. I know for me, at least, nothing will top going out to try new gelato flavors with the new friends I’ve made, sitting by the Arno River on a sunny day, and exploring different parts of Italy.