Late January 2011: It was one of my last few days in Italy for a January term class in Renaissance art. Oddly I was incredibly homesick for 90% of the trip, save for my days spent in Siena and Venice. Why odd? I had traveled overseas before in 2008 and never felt super homesick – then again, I did have good friends and plenty of laughs to keep my mind busy and free of anxiety. This trip was a bit of a rocky start – upon arriving in Florence in early January, my cell phone carrier had some trouble switching over to international and I received news that my roommate would not arrive until tomorrow, due to delays in her home state. Not to mention I was in a stark white room with a tiny shower that had the doors close at a point (Psycho vibes anyone?) and my converter from Sharper Image burned out, despite the fact that the store claimed it was Italy compatible.
Rocky start aside, the trip became more enjoyable overtime but upon arriving in Rome, I was ready to finish strong in my class and head home. My roommate and I walked past a local restaurant nearby the trolley in the heart of the city and noticed it was pretty busy. The food smelled good and it seemed popular, so we gave it a go one night. In addition to buying an authentic, freshly made pizza, I checked out a drink called ‘Gazzosa’ on the menu and showed the description to my roommate, who roughly translated the description of it as a sort of sparkling lemonade. I gave water a break and ordered it, curious to see how it tasted.
Lemony, crisp, and a smooth, yet bubbly finish, I took an instant liking to it. Pictures weren’t allowed in the restaurant so I tried to commit the label to memory, determined to try to find it Stateside. Boy was I disappointed when all I could find online was a soda company that made their own Gazzosa that looked more yellow than the light cream liquid I remembered. Needless to say, I concluded that I was better off remembering the memory and taste of the refreshing beverage.
Fast forward to today: I visited my folks one weekend and they raved about a fantastic Italian specialty market near our house. I wandered through it, impressed with the variety of authentic Italian meats, fresh pasta, and house sauces. I went down the drink aisle and lo and behold, there it was!
Tastes exactly how I remember it.