When in Italy, Eat Gelato
OK, one quick announcement: CHOCOLATE KISS advanced copies are here! If you really can’t wait for the pretty “real book” copies in January, check out the contest to win one. And NOW, we return from all these announcements (it’s worse than the Olympics, the number of interruptions, isn’t it?) to continue the saga of Italy.
From the magical Matera, we made our way posthaste to Bari, where our time was fleeting, but it did allow us to meet these lovely ladies:
We met for coffee at the café Dona Flor, which delighted me quite a bit just from the location because when as an author I first started to Google my name in the desperate hope that someone was reading my book, I used to mostly come up with “Dona Flor and her Two Husbands”. So–although little Giulia (my amazing Italian publicist, who chose the location) knew, this was just hilariously perfect.
(Now I don’t Google myself anymore. Once you start actually coming up with yourself when you type your name into Google, it gets a little scary.)
AND…what better people to meet at the Café Dona Flor? Book-loving, friendly women tolerant of my Italian. That’s my kind of people. 🙂
From left to right: Giada of La Mia Passione? I libri!, Floriana of La Biblioteca del libraio, and Ivana of Il libro eterno. Grazie mille, ragazze, per la vostra accoglienza. (Thank you so much for your kind welcome.)
Alas, no chance to see the Castel that Mina had recommended, and off we went, racing by the sea, signing a copy of Ladra di cioccolato for a friendly taxi driver, and just catching the flight back to Rome.
Where I got to Sleep In, it being Sunday and a day off. Well, you know what I had to do with a day off in Rome on my first trip to Italy, don’t you?
Eat gelato! This is Gelateria del Teatro, in Rome.
Look at some of these flavors:
Rosemary honey and lemon…lavender and white peach…garden sage and raspberry…
Yep, you guessed it, I tried all three. Then I got three more flavors. What?? I only had one day!! What would you do in my place?
Plus, to be honest, by the time I got to Gelateria del Teatro, I had walked all of Rome from Saint Peter’s…
(This photo actually taken from the very first night of my arrival, when the sun was setting behind San Pietro and the moon was rising the other direction over the Tiber. A much more lovely experience than my feeble iPhone photos can do justice to.)
…to Piazza Navona…
(By the way, if I ever read another scene where somebody bathes in the Fontana da Trevi, I will throw the book out a window. The mass of humanity pressing around that fountain at all hours is incredible. One of my pet peeves: people writing about countries they have never been to.)
…to the Foro and the Colosseo…
And back, with random stops in beautiful churches here and there on the way, and a detour to find a recommended chocolate shop that was, sadly, barred shut:
So I deserved a cup of gelato!
All this ice cream made me very nostalgic for my absolute top ice-cream place in Paris. (And just go ahead and believe me. It is THE best. In Paris, at least. I’m going to give myself more than a day or two in Italy before I declare myself an expert on ice-cream there. Even if I did try seven places. More about that later. I didn’t try all seven the same day!)
And all that walking wore my sandals and me out. And then it started pouring, around six in the afternoon. So you know what I had to do my one free evening in Rome, right?
Curl up with pizza picked up down the street from my hotel. Of course. This pizza did not make me nostalgic for anything as, let’s just face it, the difference between Italian pizza and everyone else’s is just too big.
And then, while the rain poured down, it was time to try to get some sleep for the next big day! Florence! And a book signing complete with chocolate hearts!