James and I have just returned from Europe where we went to Rome on business. We siezed the chance to visit with some of our most cherished friends residing in Italy and France, even sharing Thanksgiving on a picturesque olive orchard with loved ones from four different countries. Over the next couple of weeks I shall blog about the total experience but today I would like to start with an unexpected sidebar. One of the best things about life to me, is fate’s uncanny ability to continue to surprise and delight us. Today I would like to share with you our most resent example:
Having the opportunity to explore new places and share in new experiences is always exciting and wonderful but when you get to make new friends along the way, well that’s just downright awesome! Such was the case with James and me when we met Gina Ravo. Gina is an amazing woman who exudes a special brand of warmth and caring that is not only genuine, but almost impossible for her to contain. She’s an energetic little spitfire dispensing cheer, love, and if you’re lucky, teddy bear hugs.
How we met was totally business related; Gina works for one of the top executives of the company which brought us to Italy to plan and execute their annual meeting. She was schooled in London and is fluent in both English and Italian languages; shifting effortlessly between the two, happily (and helpfully) translating for us when necessary.
As it turns out, she and her husband Romano happen to live in Aprilia, Italy, where James and I were staying with our dear friends. The Ravo’s had also recently opened a small business in town; a marvelous gelato shop named, “Selfie Ice.”
We had hoped for Gina and Romano to join the Thanksgiving celebration but as it turned out, they were headed to England to visit with their daughter. Gina did however invite us to come down to check out their shop, which we happily did.
Selfie Ice, is located at Via Dei Lauri 42 (inside the galleria), in the town of Aprilia, Lazio, Italy and if you ever find yourself anywhere in the vicinity, I highly recommend a visit to Selfie Ice! Gina and Romano, serve up top quality soft-serve gelato made from the freshest, high quality ingredients (never using those powdered mixes found all too often throughout Italy) and one taste will win you over.
Selfie Ice is indeed a happy place (as evident by the involuntary smile across my face) and as I stepped through the door into the shop, I felt as though I had won the golden ticket into the Wonka chocolate factory! The décor is a perfect combination of high-tech ingenuity, old world charm, and childhood fantasy. From the bright fuchsia colored walls, to the jelled floor tile that squishes underfoot, to the ceiling covered in ever-changing colored light bulbs, not to mention the sweet aroma, you know that you’re in for a treat. And speaking of treats, Selfie Ice is not restricted solely to gelato; they also take the same pride in their cioccolata calda ( a smooth and velvety rich hot chocolate drink to die for!) luxurious crepes, and now even Belgian waffles all made fresh to order, from scratch!
Gina’s husband, Romano, lead us though the Selfie Ice experience with all the charm and enthusiasm of a proud schoolboy. The concept is simple; upon entering the store, you start at your left, selecting a vessel from which to house the creamy delight; whether it be a cup, a cone, or a crispy waffle bowl, then head over to the back wall where you can choose from any number of assorted daily flavors. We chose hazelnut and even though we were “in the know” as to the freshness and quality, we were still amazed and delighted by the true fresh nutty taste. Once you’ve selected your gelato, it’s time to head over to the toppings bar, which has a huge selection of trimmings both wet and dry that is sure to satisfy any craving you may be having. I highly recommend the fragoline di bosco, made from a tiny, wild, Italian strawberry, that I’ve never seen in the States… can you say yummers?!
The Selfie Ice experience is indeed as sweet as the owners, Gina and Romano; so if you find yourself within driving distance (Aprilia is just outside of Rome) make sure you stop in for a gelato, a smile, and of course, make sure you take your photo with the store mascot, Selfieman!
Until next time,