Gelato & Co. now open at the Marriott

A tall, skinny Italian ice-cream-maker from Bologna, with dimples and blue eyes, just helped open a charming Gelateria at the Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino, right in the lobby.

I love his life. He has recently launched successful franchises of Gelato & Co. in Panama, Cayman Island and Puerto Rico, and will stick around the Marriott in Aruba for about 8 weeks, until every one of the resort’s culinary brigade members is a certified Italian gelato maker. He says they are all good students, destined for gelato greatness.

The new Gelato & Co. welcomes patrons to a retro style ice cream parlor, serving one of Life’s Simplest Pleasures, i.e., an array of icy temptations.

Ricardo explains that artisanal Gelato and Sorbet are created in small batches, fresh every day, in the gleaming kitchen behind the all-white parlor. Imagine, the ice cream and treats on display never saw the inside of a truck, or a freezer, or an industrial piece of machinery!

With more than 24 Gelato and Sorbet flavors, Ricardo makes everything from scratch using the finest ingredients, imported from Italy, with nothing artificial or pre-mixed. He also claims the secret to his trim figure is eating gelato every day. That’s the only statement he made which I did not believe.

I had a scoop of stracciatella, vanilla ice cream with crunchy chocolate chips. It was amazing. I will drop by next week to try pistachio, and coffee, the following week. Or maybe one of the frozen heart-shaped bars, they looked irresistible.

On a recent visit to the Eternal City, we knew we wanted to have gelato at least once. Afraid to ruin our girlish figures we agreed that when we finally succumb to temptation, it had to be an iconic, world famous gelato, from one of Rome’s indisputably historic, artigianale places, because there’s gelato and then there’s gelato, and we wanted to try the best.

On our last day, in the evening, five minute before nightfall we were faced with the realization we needed to have it now, or never. We research the issue furtively and identified Giolitti on Via Degli Uffici del Vicario #40, a store tucked away on a small street somewhere between Piazza Navona and Fontana di Trevi, i.e., Rome’ bellybutton.

The street was jam-packed with tasters and lickers when we arrived, the small ice cream parlor was heaving with gelato-crazed visitors, ten rows deep, we lined up for a ticket, cleansed our palates first with a delicious espresso, then had twenty seconds to decide which flavor we wanted when it was our turn in front of the gelato priest, at the altar. I think I picked stracciatella, or maybe pistachio or coffee. I don’t remember, I was rushed.

We retreated to the outside to enjoy our treat. Having delayed gratification for ten days, it was indeed an awesome experience.

But I swear to you, you can save the airline ticket. The gelato at the Marriott lobby is equally good.