I know; it’s a lousy photo. It’s blurry and it’s not well composed. Plus, it’s not a breathtaking landscape shot or an evocative image of a religious icon in a church, or a mouthwatering picture of a dish of pasta. But I love it. I took it in June 2009 at Gelateria Miro, in Silvi Marina, where I spent my summers as a girl. It was the first time my kids had been to Silvi and they loved Miro. The gelato is fabulous, and so are the cornetti—buttery and delicately sweet.
A cappuccino and a cornetto is my absolute favorite way to start the day, especially a day like today; it’s the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. In many ways, Italy is still a collection of regions, each with its own character. Italy’s regional differences are expressed beautifully through its food, and not so beautifully through its continued political bickering. Although there is still discontent and talk of secession, it occurred to me that wherever you travel in Italy, from Alto Adige to Sicily, you can always find a good cup of coffee and a delicious, sweet cornetto. Happy birthday, Italy. Auguri e buon compleanno. Ti amo.