It seems I’m not the only one who was struck by the wonders of Italy. My readers certainly know by now that my writing sojourn in northern Italy inspired the column you are now reading.
I always hope that I might be able to encourage the Italian way of relaxing, or, “la dolce far niente”( the sweetness of doing nothing). When one goes to places of wonder one is affected by it forever.
Hemingway lived in Paris as a young writer and called the city “a moveable feast.” What he meant was that if you lived in Paris for even a short time and you then went elsewhere you would always know what beauty was and this sense of beauty would always remain in you.
Yes Paris is known for its beauty but Italy is known for food, for living life and for talking. In “Eat, Pray Love” Elizabeth Gilbert spent four months eating her way around Italy. It was a marvel to read about.
Howard Schultz visited Milan and was so dazzled by Italian magic that he brought Starbucks back to us.
And this is just what happened to Allen Aingorn, a graduate of Herricks High School.
Aingorn graduated Herricks and became a professional soccer player. Lucky for him he played for an Italian team in Como, Italy. Can you imagine?
Lake Como is for sure the most beautiful place on earth. While there he fell in love with the Italian piazzas where one would have dinner, then stroll to the dessert shop for some cappuccino, some talking and a gelato. And when he retired from soccer he, along with his partner Doron Bensusan, decided to bring the boon back with them. They decided to open a first rate genuine Italian gelato shop right here in Williston Park.
Baci Gelato is located at 591 Willis Ave. in Williston Park. It’s the place with the nice looking yellow awning on the corner of Remsen Avenue and Willis. When you walk in you see an array of gelato and sorbet and they also serve cappuccino, crepes and frozen drinks.
His recipe is straight from Italy as are all his ingredients. The fruits and nuts are from Sicily and the rest from the north. Gelato tastes rich despite the fact that it has far less fat than regular ice cream. This is because there is so little air mixed in with the ingredients.
Allen and his partner have two stores, one here in Williston Park (lucky us) and one in New Jersey. He also sells to high end hotels in New York like the Waldorf Astoria and the Pierre Hotel.
We all love ice cream because it reminds us of mother and warmth and love. It is the ultimate comfort food. But gelato brings a taste of Italian elegance. And what makes it all so much nicer still is that he seems to hire very pretty girls to serve you.
My brother is also a writer and much smarter than me. I always listened attentively to things he would say when I was a kid. I remember that he once told me when I was a teenager that one of life’s great pleasures was to go to the ice cream shop and be handed an ice cream cone by a pretty girl.
So go ahead and give yourself one of life’s great pleasures. Stroll down Willis Avenue on a late summer’s eve and get a Baci gelato served by a pretty girl who smiles when she gives you the cone.
Ah yes, la dolce vita that’s for sure.