Whenever you visit a country where you don't speak the language, one of the first tasks you have is finding enough key phrases to get by. On our recent trip to Italy, one of our favorite phrases was "un cono di gelato per favore."
For three weeks, we rented a small apartment in Lucca. Some days we chose to stay in and tour Lucca; some days we headed out to explore the northern region of Italy by train.
On the days we stayed in, we quickly developed our routine. Exploring during the day, purchasing fresh produce and breads for dinner, a quick bite to eat in our apartment, a stroll around Lucca's wall ... and a stop off at the the best sweet shop in town.
On one side were cases upon cases of decadent treats. In our three weeks there, we definitely didn't have the time to try them all.
On the other side we found a dozen or so choices of gelato. And while we soon made friends with the clerks, who smiled more than once at our very rough Italian, they quickly learned our order even before we placed it.