There's something very concerning sweeping the country of Italy. This rampant epidemic is infiltrating the populations of tourists and locals alike, and there is only one diagnosis appropriate for the symptoms. I know this illness as 'Gelato Blindness."
Now, you probably think I'm kidding. It's gelato for goodness sake! The creamiest, most heavenly treat (I would argue) in the world. How can this cause blindness? Keep with me here.
It all started when I was walking around Venice during my first segment of the trip. I noticed that almost every third person was walking with gelato and walking through busy (and very narrow) pedestrian walkways. This continued throughout the cities of Rome, Florence, Cortona, Montepulciano...and onto many more.
Here are the symptoms that you should be aware of:
The first symptom: The stare. There's a sense of wonder that sweeps across the face of the eager recipient of the mounding cup or cone. The hopeful gaze at the newly purchased treat is the first sign.
The second symptom: Panicked licking. Italy is most popular in the summer-time, which leaves those partaking in this delight in a sense of panic to eat quickly before it melts into a gooey puddle. Who wants sticky hands while perusing the gift shops, museums, or following a tour guide...no one! Plus...gelato is too good to let melt. So the panic leads to mania, and the rabid licking of the cone begins.
The third symptom: The stumble. I'm not saying that gelato is causing euphoric dillusion (although, a case could be made for that too), but what I am saying is that the panicked licking is the stage before complete disaster strikes. Most every person that I see eating gelato seems to be drunkenly stepping into the streets because of the extreme focus that they have in enjoying every last lick. I've witnessed people bump into strangers, drop bags, and completely block roads because priority #1 is wrapped in a piping hot, thin waffle cone and destroying their ability to function. What's even more terrifying is that there is no predictable time of day for this epidemic to hit because gelato seems to make a fine addition no matter the hour. 8 AM? Well, why the heck not get a banana and cappuccino double cone and call it breakfast? It's pretty much the same thing.
I'm writing this to fairly warn anyone who may fall victim to this terrifying travesty that is sweeping the boot-shaped country. If you are visiting Italy and have a sweet tooth, consider yourself at high risk. You may not hear about this on the news (call it what you want..but it smells like an effort to protect the reputation of these artisans and their goods *wink*) but I wanted to personally make everyone aware of the very real ramifications of indulging abroad.
Enjoy responsibly, my fellow travelers!
Gelato is not the only Italian sweet threatening the welfare of humanity. To learn about how limoncello can ruin lives, click here!
*Note: This article should not be used in replacement of medical advice from a doctor, nor should it be taken seriously. All parties enjoying gelato recreationally should consume responsibly and with full awareness.