We were taken around the historic center of Rome, drinking coffee like Romans (at the bar, no lingering, except to learn facts about coffee and the places we were drinking). Drinking coffee in Rome is thankfully a million miles from Starbucks pseudo-coffee speak. Here the only shot you might ask for in your coffee is a drop of milk (or a splash of grappa), not whatever the flavor-of-the-month is.
Then we had gelato. And more gelato. And even more gelato. Our friendly, knowledgeable guide Mario pointed out the differences between industrial and artisanal products (look for natural colors among other things), and between ice cream in America and gelato in Italy (guess who beats in more air AND more fat). We were dazzled by the choice of flavors, different chocolates, fruits, nuts and more unusual combinations as well – celery gelato, anyone? At every stop, we were able to have samples. I came away with a belly full of gelato, a head full of stories and a camera full of pictures. I am going to be dreaming of gelato for a long, long time.
La dolce vita really doesn't get much better than this. Grazie, Mario!