Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 12: I scream, You scream, We all scream for... gelato.

In preparing for our European adventure, I did what any tourist heading to Italy would do: spent hours on the internet searching for THE BEST gelatoria the country had. During my research, I came across countless rave reviews on one specific gelatoria known as Grom. Grom is located in a number of locations in Italy, France and even the US. Venice was one of the locations, so we obviously couldn't pass up an opportunity to have what critics called the most delicious gelato known to man.

After eating breakfast at the hotel, which consisted of warm yogurt... yuck..., we went about our normal "last day in a city" morning routine. I'll spare the details. We decided to visit the other non-touristic islands of Venice (mainly so I could satisfy my craving for delicious gelato). During our "last day in a city" morning routine, we had asked someone if they knew how to get to the street where Grom is located. (I had the address, and he pointed on the map). But he then proceeded in saying that it really wasn't the most impressive gelato he'd ever had, especially for the price. He went on by telling us his favorite gelatoria and exactly how to get there.
So, we made our first stop on the tiny out-of-the-way island to taste his favorite gelato. Our verdict: not good. Everyone knows that gelato is not supposed to have ice crystals... obviously the best part of gelato is it's creamy texture. There's no way someone can call themselves an Italian when their favorite "gelato" is really a ice cream flavored slushy. Since there wasn't much to see or do on that island, which may be why it wasn't full of tourists, we started walking to another port to take a boat back to San Marco. Along the way though, we found a gelatoria that looked better than the previous one we stopped at. So we bought another scoop... besides, we had to replace the bad tasting gelato from our memory.

Again, that gelato really wasn't very good. And at that point, I really didn't want any more. I know, you may gasp, but it was true. I was all gelato-ed out. I couldn't face another poorly tasting scoop... nor any good scoop for that matter. However, deep within my soul, I had a yearning desire to try Grom's gelato. After all, we hadn't travelled all the way Italy and made our way over to a corner island in Venice for nothing! So, since I had the map, I secretly directed us to the water taxi by taking us down roads which just happened to lead us to Grom in the process. When my mom saw it, she asked if we should give it a try. My stomach screamed "no" while my mouth said "yes".

I'd be lying if I didn't say it was the most delicious gelato that I've ever had... because, in fact, it was. Although my stomach was protesting the entire time, I couldn't help but enjoy every last spoonful. Yes, it was expensive... but definitely worth the cost, and the stomach ache that ensued. At least a lesson was learned in all of this, which was: trust the voice of millions, not one of a stranger you ask directions from... even if he is a local.

Gelato search accomplished, we finally made it onto the boat taxi to take us to another boat. Earlier that day we bought tickets for a group gondola ride. Luck was on our side at that moment, because we got into the first gondola with a German couple and the musicians. We sailed down the canals with 3 other gondolas, but with the musicians in our boat, it felt like they were playing for us alone.

As we would sail by, shutters would open and people would lean out their windows to listen to the music. There couldn't have been any better way to end our Italian tour than that.

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