Milan in three hours: Gelato

The hard thing about being a visitor in Milan is that you are one of the people who isn’t perfect. Your eyes don’t have the perfect shape, your ass isn’t the type of thing that makes people fall over crying, and your ability to be the hottest person in the room–no matter where you are–is severely inhibited. Within thirty minutes of walking, I noticed that anyone under the age of 50 in Milan who was not a tourist was among the most gorgeous people I’d ever seen. The men were pretty. The ugly women were better looking than most women who live in America. I vowed not to return to the city before having plastic surgery.

Curious, I thought, that a city so full of gelato shops could be home to so many perfectly shaped people. While a longtime consumer of ice creams (premium and otherwise), I spent 32 years without enjoying gelato–or, at least, anything that actually described itself as gelato. Then, in the Summer of 2006, Wil and Ryan took me to a little stand inside Caesars. I had pistachio and decided that if American lawmakers ever quietly outlawed oral sex, I’d settle for a daily dose of gelato instead. That said, gelato ain’t necessarily fat free and I had to figure there was some government mandate in Italy about ass-goodness to gelato consumption ratios.

Regardless, it was a warm Spring day when I stood at the city center and decided–before I did anything with my three hours on the ground in Milan–I was going to have some gelato.

I shouldn’t be surprised that the gelato shop wasn’t staffed by smooth-skinned fashion models with perfect almonds for eyes and stomachs that you could–in a pinch–bounce grapes off of. Upon my return to America, I went to an airport Swensens for a smoothie. The girls there were decidedly not small–choosing take two orders at once so that they wouldn’t have to walk the five feet back to the register. Efficiency in sloth, I’d call it.

No, in Milan, there were no Milanese behind the counter of the gelato stand. Still, the Asian women working on the edge of the Piazza del Duomo were not all that bad looking. And, they took orders one at a time–sloth be damned.

I stood in a line of perfect asses and smooth skin. I peeked around one ass and saw it: pistachio in all its brown-green goodness. For €2, they slapped it on a cone and sent me back out into the sunshine.

I think there are a few things in life that I wouldn’t even try to describe with words. Among those things are a night of naked monkey business with my wife, Scarlett Johansson, Virginia Madsen, and Helena Bonham Carter…watching the Kansas City Chiefs win the Superbowl from a hot tub in Maui…and the texture of pistachio gelato as tasted in the center of Milan.

No, the picture doesn’t do it justice.

Under the March sun, the gelato threatened to melt fast, so I ate it quickly, enjoying the mix of sweet and salt, dodging pickpockets, ducking under pigeons, and heading for a giant scrum of soccer fans in the middle of the square. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but it looked like as good a place as any to eat my gelato.

And, so I went.

Previously: Milan in three hours: Prelude

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Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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5 Responses

  1. We actually have an gelato place in Columbia. Come on down one hot day and I’ll treat ya.

  2. “a gelato place”

    was originally going to write “an italian gelato place” but i noticed the redundancy

  3. Anonymous Little Willie says:

    If I replaced oral sex with gelato, I would certainly not get to eat it every day… lucky bastard.

  4. Anonymous Su says:

    The Chiefs winning the Superbowl…. We can dream……

  5. There’s a gelato bar in Charlotte, too.

    And Italy was created to give Americans an inferiority complex about their appearance (well-deserved). My wife and I spent a nice hour sitting on the steps of a church in Sicily picking out the Americans. It was easy, they were the ugly people with no style.

    Even the ugly Italians have so much character they’re fascinating. Ugly American people are just ugly.