If you’ve ever been to Italy, you know there are temptations around every corner. All the restaurants and bistros look supremely inviting, and my friends and I had to resist stopping for a bite at each one. Of course, when it came to dessert… well, that’s a completely different story.
The one thing I wanted to try the most was a genuine, Italian tiramisu. And I did. Dragging our weary selves back from the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica, we came upon a lovely restaurant called Il Falchetto where we sat out on the terrace and had our first Italian dinner and I had my first tiramisu. With a twist. Did you know tiramisu could come in pistachio? I didn’t either. And I fell in love.
I also licked my way across Italian gelato in almost every city. It is so hard to pick a favourite because they were all so damn delicious and better than any ice-cream I’ve ever had. Special mention goes to one certain gelateria in Florence, called Bar Ponte Vecchio, which served cones so HUGE I was actually stopped by random strangers for pictures.
And let’s not forget the Hot Chocolate*. The glorious, glorious Italian Hot Chocolate that feels like you’re drinking a melted chocolate bar rather than a watery concoction. I had the best drink in Turin, the Italian city of chocolate, in a shop called Stratta in Piazza San Carlo, and coupled it with a delicious, creamy cannoli.
And the macarons! I’ve had macarons before, but never like this. The Laduree treats I’ve tried in both UAE and Lebanon did not come close to the ones we picked up in Italy! And we found this darling little shop – Pascal Caffet – where the elderly woman behind the counter did not understand a word of English and I had to gesticulate madly for her to understand me, and from there we picked up delicious macarons – one pistachio and cherry, and one passion fruit, coconut and chocolate.
On the eve of my 28th birthday, my friends and I were in Rome, and we had a little tea party in a place called Babington Tea Shop, located next to the Spanish Steps. The tea was absolutely delicious, and the chocolate cake was one of the best I’ve had. It was the perfect way (for me at least) to celebrate turning a year older.
In Florence, I entered my first ever Lindt store. I am very grateful I was only carrying a certain amount of money with me that day because I could have easily blown all my cash in that store. I have never seen so much chocolate in one place! It was heaven.
On our final day in Milan, we had our last dessert (and last supper) – Hot Chocolate with tiramisu and cannoli and creme brulee. It was with tears in our eyes that we licked our plates clean. Each one of us was truly miserable to be leaving. None of us wanted to go home.
Since returning home, I’ve been trying to find a place here that serves good cannolis, but in vain. Nothing comes close. 😦 I mean sure, there are some nice dessert shops all over Dubai, but there is something special about sitting in a little corner of Italy, nibbling these flaky pastries and sipping coffees and chocolates.
Maybe again someday.
What was the last dessert you had? Have you tried any of these fabulous treats, in Italy or otherwise? Also – how is your Sunday going? 🙂
* Because it bears repeating, when referring to this drink, when you don’t capitalise it, you’re simply using “hot” as an adjective; i.e. this chocolate drink is hot. But once it cools down, you can no longer apply the “hot” adjective to it, and the drink is no longer what it is. By making it a proper noun, Hot Chocolate, you can now refer to it using that name even after it cools down. In other words, we’ll be able to say that the Hot Chocolate has now cooled down. But I’m probably overthinking it, haha.