Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The search for Grom

Grom is a gelato shop, one of a small chain with members in several cities, that Sarah declared to be the best in Florence.  Coming from a woman who knows her gelato as well as my daughter does, this was high praise indeed, so I clearly had to try it.  Monday night, in a mild rain and after visiting the Palazzo Vecchio and walking around a bit, I set out to find it.  I knew from Sarah that it was on a small side street very near the Duomo, and I'd seen its icon on Google Maps--in the room, where I have bandwidth.  I knew the name of its street, Via della Oche.  On the street, with no data plan, my phone is a voice-and-text-only device, so I would have no navigation aid.  Still, with all this information, how hard could it be to find?

Ah, if only I could get paid for all the misadventures I've begun with that sort of reasoning. 

The first mistake I made was to try a new route toward the Duomo.  Quite a walk later, I realized that I recognized absolutely nothing.  The streets were wider than I expected, which meant I had strayed rather far from the city's center.  No landmark tower was visible. 

Quite another walk later, I caught sight of a Duomo tower and wound a path toward it.  After a while, a street dumped into the back of the Duomo.  Success!

Or not.

You see, at this point, I misremembered what Sarah said and became convinced that Grom was directly in front of the Duomo.  I could have checked her words on my phone, where I'd stored the document, but at this point I was sure I had this one detail right.  Silly me. 

One rainy, long, slow circumnavigation of the Duomo later, I could not spot Grom. 

Frustrated and dejected, I set off to the hotel along the most familiar, safe path I know; at that point, I no longer trusted my navigation skills.

Almost immediately, I saw a sign for Via della Oche!  I turned left onto it, walked a bit, and encountered this scene. 

Click on the image to see a larger version.

The construction had made the place almost impossible to get to, and yet it was full. 

Sarah was right:  the gelato was fantastic and worth the walk.  It's been worth the walk--a more direct walk, to be sure--each day since then.


Anonymous said...

You have to have lunch one day at Osteria Il Buongustai on Via dei Cerchi. Owned and run by a group of women, this place only serves a simple pasta lunch with a few other things. The pasta is freshly made and the menu changes daily. This is where the locals eat (avoid all the touristy places!) and it is not to be missed. Just got back from two weeks in Florence and would give anything to be eating lunch there today!

Anonymous said...

I prefer Neri on Via dei Neri. Their chocolate with chili is sinfully divine.

Mark said...

Thanks for the recommendation!


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