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It seems impossible but today is in fact the last day of summer.

As I’ve been telling so many people lately, I feel like I just blink and suddenly two or three months pass me by.

And to tell the truth, I still feel like I’m not fully back home, as though I’m straddling my time in Italy and my time since I’ve been back in Toronto. I feel a bit like I’m neither here nor there.

It’s unusual for me to be so reluctant to say goodbye to summer. It’s not my favourite season and the end of summer signals the beginning of my true seasonal love: the fall.

But these days my mind keeps replaying the three incredible weeks I spent in Italy and I’m just not ready to let go.

On my last night in Rome, I called my mother to go over my arrival time and flight information. I’m sure she sensed my reluctance to leave. Before we ended our conversation, she asked me to go out and have one last ice cream and to make it a lemon gelato, just for her (lemon gelato being her absolute favourite).

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I stepped out into the hot Roman night and immediately veered off the beaten tourist path. I passed by countless gelaterias but couldn’t settle on which one to make the last one that I would visit before heading home.

And then quite by chance, I happened upon Il Gelato di San Crispino, a gelateria that I’d hoped to visit during my time in Rome but that had, up until that point, eluded me.

Without hesitating, I walked right in and ordered what is without question the very best lemon ice cream I have ever tasted.

It was so vibrant and so crisp that I felt like I was eating the most refreshing, cold lemon imagineable.

As I ate my gelato, leaning against the side of just another old, fading, beautiful Roman building, I silently thanked my mother for the best Roman goodbye that I could imagine.

Ciao!

Note: If you make it to Rome, you must visit Il Gelato di San Crispino, widely considered to be among Rome’s best gelaterias. The recipe for the lemon gelato that I made (pictured above) is from Olives & Oranges by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox. If you’d like to try making lemon gelato at home, here are some great recipes:

http://nymag.com/restaurants/articles/recipes/lemongelato.htm

http://www.ehow.com/how_2058527_make-lemon-gelato.html

http://italianfood.about.com/od/gelatoandsherbet/r/blr0306.htm

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/1620/lemon+gelato