We stepped off the train at the St. Peter's Square Station, drowsy, bleary eyed, in need of a pick-me-up and with an embarrasing lack of enthusiasm for the very last stop of the holiday, Rome. We wandered through the Vatican City trying to drink in the sights but mostly looking out for a coffee stop.
It's funny how the best way to enjoy something that looks too pretty to eat is to get downright messy.
There's something about the aroma of Italian coffee that says "Good morning!". A cup of strong, deliciously flavourful coffee each and a delightful cream-filled pastry to share left us feeling brand new and ready to take on Rome.
When you have less than a day to explore one of the most historical cities in the world, you know that a good strategy is in order. We targeted the most iconic of spots - and yes, that included Gelataria Giolitti.
Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40
00186 Rome, Italy
Open Daily 7am-2amYou know it's a good holiday when you're standing out in the sunshine, sunglasses perched atop your head, digging into a cup of gelato from a gelateria that has seen the likes of Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. All that, and the fact that it's the middle of winter.
Tough choices await at Giolitti, with numerous flavours to pick from. As always, I like to leave these decisions to the people who know best, the friendly people behind the counter and I must say, it's a strategy that has never let me down - the recommended marrons glacés (glazed chestnuts) was divine, even if our limited Italian meant that we couldn't quite identify what flavour it was then. I would also recommend the dark chocolate, bittersweet and a good foil to the other sweeter flavours. The quaint interior of the gelateria is a throwback to days gone by and so is the rather strange payment system of pre-purchasing an empty cup (or cone) at the cashier before heading to the ice cream display counter. Still, the best way to enjoy some good gelato is in the sun, surrounded by the all gorgeous architecture that Rome has to offer.
Rome, twice in a year - I'm a lucky, lucky girl.