Italy is not a country of half-measures.
Nor are Italians a subtle people. Be it food, architecture or upscale vehicles, all must be brighter, sleeker, and packed with more panache per cubic centimetre than its predecessors. This boisterous joie de vivre is juxtaposed against a paradoxically serene landscape of molar-like mountains, vast stretches of cropland, and positively Jurassic trees.
North American experiences of Italy have thusly tended along the lines of "Eat, Pray, Love" or "Under the Tuscan Sun." (or even that Barilla pasta commercial where a sexy Italian neighbour saves the day) In other words, one cannot possibly visit Italy and not be rocked by a life-altering epiphany.
Promises of epiphanies in hillside villas are better fodder for Hollywood popcorn flicks than they are for realistic holiday experiences. When teary-eyed revelations failed to appear, I faced a singular, universal truth. Italy is home to some damn fine gelato.
When the plug on my gelato-powered respirator was rudely yanked away, though, I gasped for my next hit. Twice daily gelato runs were too soon a distant memory.
Sweet and timely consolation arrived as a scoop of white chocolate lemon and cinnamon bun gelato at Cococo. One could slip into the tired tirade of "that's not how it would taste in the old country," but that's not the point. These flavours very well may not ever appear across the ocean, but the lemon sang of fleeting sunshine. The cinnamon captured autumn's wistful urgency. Each voluptuous spoonful may as well have been narrated by Sophia Loren's throaty purr. I am not sure whether I discovered the meaning of life in Italy, but it's pretty darn clear that Cococo scoops a mean gelato.