summer, 1990. my girlfriend had just graduated, and i had just finished my junior year of college. we rented a renault 5, and drove through western europe. in italy, we spent a week staying at the hotel duomo in orvieto. the hotel has been renovated since we stayed; when we were there it had cheap, basic accomodations, but you couldn't beat the price and the location. we spent the days exploring the surrounding area, including four days commuting into rome, sixty miles to the south. evenings, we had dinner at one of the small tratorias, and finished with gelati from gelateria pasqualetti. at dusk, which in the middle of summer was around nine o'clock, it seemed that the entire town would come out and stroll the streets. we would stroll along with them, vera with her 'gianduia', hazelnut and chocolate gelato, and me with my 'limon e fragola', lemon and raspberry. as the sky dimmed, we walked past young couples, small knots of schoolkids, and couples with hands entwined, ancient beyond years. the ritual of the 'passeggiata', the evening stroll was compelling, and we didn't miss it, no matter how much touring we had done during the day. some recipes i can taste in my head before i get them down in the kitchen, and on the page. this lemon ice is one of those. even thirteen years later, i judge my lemon ice as to how well it compares to the ones i had in orvieto. the atmosphere may not be quite as good, but if i make it just right, i can feel the warmth radiating off the sun-warmmed buildings, four thousand miles away.
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