Sunday, July 14, 2013

In Which I Have Feelings About Gelato

In the midst of going to class and writing papers and visiting famous historic architecture, there is a delicious, creamy constant in my (and, admit it, the rest of the Global Scholars') life: gelato. No matter where I go or how ridiculously lost I may be, I can always walk down a street and see a shining sign that blinks "GELATERIA" at me, and by that point, why not treat myself? It's come to the point where my best Italian is "Cono piccolo? Stracciatella, per favore! Grazie!"

Gelato is so prevalent in Rome, and in Italian culture, that it is not uncommon to see a row of gelaterias on a street, all competing against each other for customers. Even more interesting is that unlike our Coldstone Creameries and Baskin Robbins in the US, I have yet to see a gelateria chain, meaning all these stores must be small businesses depending on creating regular customers and attracting new ones in order to stay in business. With all the competition, how do they do it?

I think I found an answer when I went to a quaint little gelateria near the girls' apartments called Mucca Bianca Gelateria. A few friends and I found this gelateria completely by accident, but their initial kindness drew me back a second time, at which point the cashier gave me a "buy 10 gelatos, get the 11th free!" card. On this card is their email address, so I could contact them, and when I googled the store, I found their Facebook page, which I promptly liked. Even though I cannot understand their Italian, their online presence is very open, welcoming and friendly, cementing my appreciation for this gelateria. Modern technology like computers and the internet can be a tool for good or evil, but for businesses, it can be a tool for profit, and is very profitable if used well. Mucca Bianca definitely has a customer in me whenever I am in Rome. Now, off to get my free gelato!

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