It’s heaven. It’s childhood. It’s Rome. It’s…..Gelato

Roman Staples. Chocolate, mint, coffee—flavors you’ll find in any ice cream aisle in America. What you’ll have a harder time finding is clementine, pistachio, panna cotta, and hazelnut. Step out on the streets of Rome, though, and into one of the many gelaterias, where you’ll see these flavors and so many more. I went on a quest this week to discover the real Italian gelato, to find out what separates the good from the iconic. I suffered through the painful testing of two flavors a day (not counting the equally difficult tasting of four other classmates’ flavor selections), for your sake, dear readers. After days of the grueling struggle to determine which vibrant flavor combinations fit best, I came to the conclusion that really great gelato has two distinct characteristics: a rich, saturated flavor, and a creamy, immensely thick texture. Imagine your favorite ice cream; take out the chemicals, infuse it with a brilliant, natural, wholesome flavor that affects every taste bud, and then churn it until it’s almost thick enough to chew yet so creamy it slides across your tongue like butter…now that’s good gelato.

The harder part is finding that perfect cup. Not all gelati are created equal: even from batch to batch you’ll have flavor variations. Within a single gelato shop, you’ll get a scoop of the richest, creamiest ice cream and a scoop of something tasty but riddled with crunchy bits of ice. Sometimes the flavors with cacao will be gritty, and sometimes you’ll get a consistency something like brownie batter before it bakes (not so terrible, but it melts too quickly!). I tell you, it was a difficult job, but we finally decided on the best gelato shop within a ten-minute walk from the school—and believe me, there were plenty to choose from.

The Quest

     

Blue Ice caters more toward the tourist crowd, locating itself close to places like Campo de’ Fiore and the Pantheon. They had a great selection of flavors ranging from Nutella to green apple, and they tasted great, although I swear the mint chocolate chip was originally from a Breyers bucket. Some of the flavors were more of an ice-cream consistency, but they made up for it with the wide selection.

This place was a surprise! We happened to be walking by and peeked in the window. Flavors like chocolate with rum, crema siciliana which tasted like butter mead riddled with caramelized raisins, and a dozen other intricately complex choices made the selection very difficult. Delicious, although the flavors weren’t quite as saturated as some others I’ve tried.

    

This is my five-star, never-done-me-wrong selection for Best Gelateria (within ten minutes of school). Their biscotti and café blew my mind, the mint was made with honest-to-goodness mint leaves, and the lemoncello made me want to sit in the sun and visualize childhoods at the beach. It’s right at the heart of the Jewish ghetto, steps from our front door, the cheapest we’ve found, and worth so much more.

Feeling adventurous? Here are some great flavor combinations from the other students:

Klaas—lemon and hazelnut

Caty—hazelnut and café

Dustin—chocolate and clementine

Ana— Cappuccino and cioccolato

Amy—panna cotta and hazelnut

And if you do manage to get through the thousands of flavor combinations, check out the wide array of sorbet and mousse flavors!

Author’s note: Every third person who’s spent any time in Rome has a distinct favorite gelato shop. There were several suggestions given to us that we haven’t had a chance to test yet. So much gelato…so little time!

Moda Roma goes to Florence

Ana Hernandez

Going to Florence? Why not shop?  Where should you shop when going to Florence? What should you look for when you are going there? Do you want couture fashions: Gucci, Pucci, Ferragamo, fine leather? Would you rather shop at Second hand stores and  outdoor markets? Why not shop at both? This week’s blog is going to be about places to shop at in Florence Italy. So get ready, get your maps out, mark down your maps and may your shopping spree begin! Uno, due, tre!!!!

High End Fashion

When looking for couture fashions you should shop along the following streets:
o Via Tornabuoni
o Via della Vigna Nuova
o Via dei Calzaiuoli
These are the three main streets in the Santa Maria Novella district are teeming with the latest fashions from the biggest Italian and international designers.

More affordable fashion

As in Zara and your typical department shops you should check out shops near/around the following :
o Piazza della Repubblica
o Via Calimala
o Via Por Santa Maria
o Via dei Cerretani
o Via dei Banchi

How about more shopping?

Outdoor and vintage markets are common all over Florence. The most famous vendors are around the outside stalls of the markets:
o Mercato Centrale (San Lorenzo district)
o Via della Vigna Nuova or Mercato Nuovo (near Ponte Vecchio)
o Piazza Santo Spirito
o Parco delle Cascine  ( Said to be one of the best)

Furthermore, Florence is known for leather goods and gold!  Leather goods are common all over the city! However, the best place to go to is located outside of the church of San Lorenzo, the most famous place to find leather items. They range from simple bookmarks to belts to beautiful jackets!

As for gold,  Ponte Vecchio is the place to go… sellers line up on either side of the bridge where you can find high quality gold, unique necklaces, bracelets, watches rings and much more!

Leah schroeder

A brief Florientine fashion history.

Emilio Pucci, Roberto Cavalli, Guccio Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo are a few of the big names involved in the start of Italy’s modern fashion history. 1950’s Florence was the time and the place for Italy to jump onto the fashion world stage. The designers of Florence held Italy’s first fashion show in the Pitti Palace on February 12, 1951. The show was hosted and organized by the Marquis Gian Battista Giorgini. After that day Florence turned into the fashion capital of Italy and continues its hold on Italian fashion today, although many designers and labels are now based in Milan. Florence and the surrounding area continues to have a rich fashion culture. In 1986 a fashion institute was founded in Florence the Istituto Politecnico Internazionale della Moda, the nearby town of Prato has produced textiles since the 12th century and is home to the Museo del Tessuto (the Prato Textile Museum) and many leather products come from the Valdarno area, which is also nearby, and helps Florence continue to be a fashion capital.