After Your Ski Trip, Do This, Especially When In Italy.

Duomo di Milano where we indulged in our initial Gelati. Credit:

It is the 8th March 2013, the day is cool but sunny. It is still winter here in Milano, Italy. Food and Italians go together like toast and marmalade on Isle of Wight. The clever people that they are they gathered the recipe from Marco Polo and created ice cream. Gelati to the Italians, and not simply ice cream as we know it.

We have skied some legendary powder. Morzine, Avoriaz, Courmayeur, and the slopes of high Switzerland. Now all behind us. The mishap that was Marg’s on the slopes of Morzine Ski Resort where her hip parted company with her femur. It’s done and sorted. She by now languishing in a hospital back in Australia. Ahead of her months and months of exercises by physical therapists. Our remaining group of skiing tourists head to downtown Milano for some creature comforts and good European hot chocolate and to search for that legendary Gelati.

Forget your bucket list, it’s so yesterday; just visit Italy. Don’t dally, this place is cool. Built by people that know a thing or two about how to construct a medieval village. It has everything you never realized you needed. But now know where your life experiences can be fulfilled.

In Italy, they have Gelati; it’s everywhere. In Italy, it helps to be passionate and quite obsessive about food. You fit the culture better. The medieval diet is a thing. The food here makes your heart sing. I am a man of simple taste, I like a Lou Reed riff, Italian Gelati, fresh snow, Uva di Troia, blue sky, powder snow, porcini mushrooms, wasabi pear paste, Nutella Pizza, Italian hot chocolate, and cats. Italy has nine out of the above, that’s plenty to make a trip of a lifetime.

Tack it on to the end or start of your next skiing trip.

Anyhow, Gelati is our focus. We decided, as you do in Italy, to search for that Zen moment. Or nirvana when food passes your lips and mere seconds later you are taken to another place.

Gelati in the presence of Il Duomo di Milano. Perfect. Credit: Dave Chambers.

Day One Milano. We sit in the hugely dominating presence of the massive cathedral that almost blankets the whole square. The Duomo di Milano, 600 years and still standing, all 135 gargoyles of it. Seated at an open-air restaurant, we eat yet another excellent pasta. Porcini mushrooms grow wild in the forest here. Collected from the forest and scattered with a slip of black truffle across a fresh house made pasta. Simple yet sublime. Accompanied by a very good Montepulciano.

The conversation turns to Gelati, and, I kid you not, within twenty quick paces we find a purveyor of fine Gelati . We ordered enough scoops to satisfy a platoon.  All your typical flavors. Our excitement was rewarded with explosions of flavor.

Could it get better than this. We didn’t think so.

Day Two. Now down to just two of us, the other tourists having skipped and flown home. We are just getting a feel for Italian lifestyle. Our concentration heightened now we are tuned in to the local food scene. Feeling switched on. We trawl through the piazzas. We circle and wander the streets looking for shops that mysteriously stay hidden for almost two hours looking for snow wear retail stuff. My mate has a tired ski jacket in need of replacement. Suddenly we blunder upon the old bohemian quarter, exclusive and designer expensive. The luxury within these narrowed walkways is revealed. By chance or divine intervention, our next serve of designer Gelati is nigh. Imagine Mango, so smooth, the deepest orange in color and very glossy with smooth mouthfeel. This mango Gelati has the most intense sweet flavor and equal first place to yesterday’s I decide. Sacrilegious, I know, but folded within a wispy thin, crepe.

Simply the best: cioccolata italiana milano.

Last day. We lunch under the brooding gargoyles of the Duomo di Milano, now grey with mist and rain.  Within our shallow bowl, pasta. The waitress recommends a very fine local red wine. I ask her about Gelati. “Oh yes,” she says encouragingly, “You should visit Cioccolata Italiana,” further adding, “It is the best in Milano.” We are excited. I demand four flavors.  It’s a bucket but a small one. Of flavors chosen, I can’t remember because my tastebuds had hard wired to my brain. Endorphins now in overdrive. The Cioccolata Italiana Chocolate conjured angels. Those angels started dancing on my tongue, the intensity of chocolate, the smoothness as it melted around your taste buds, all balanced with a not too sweet finish, a deep dark chocolate that lingered long after the first taste. The heavens had opened just then for a tiny glimpse of ice cream nirvana. This is not just any Gelati, this is alchemy for the tastebuds and simple the best Gelati I have ever experienced. The ancient Romans may have brought you the amphitheatre, sewers, and concrete, but I am thanking them for their wonderful Gelati and the Medicis for Marco Polo.

Chocolate, please. Credit: Dave Chambers


One Comment

  1. How about everyone at the table ordering Gelati and instead I ordered a lasagna; now it’s the BEST lasagna in Italy, the best in the world! (in my book) It was the same calories! in Rapallo, Italy, to be exact a place called Terresa’s. Each noodle was 1/16 of a inch thick. So 20 layers made the serving small but it too melted in your mouth, just like Gelati. We were skiing on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur, on the same week you were there, March 8, 2013 and our stop was on the way to Firenza. Too bad we didn’t have Senior Skiing back then, as I now realize how small the world really is and recommend Senior Skiing create a live posting where Seniors can share a great discovery while on their future ski trip(s). Thanks for the memory Dave!

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