I had only a single night’s stay along the shores of Lake Maggioni in Italy, and it is pouring rain. Armed with an umbrella on loan from the hotel front desk, I set out to stroll the streets of this lovely little Italian village. Leather hand bags, shoes, and bakeries all draw my attention, but I was on a bigger mission, the bus stop. According to Fabiola, at the front desk, I was to take the “A” bus to a boutique and shopping area. But then, I got hungry. I popped into the local grocer (Meta) to pick up some tasty, thin sliced, Italian Parmesan cheese to help tide me over until dinner. My excitement quickly turned to sadness and disappointment when I discovered a hole in the pocket of my jacket where my wallet of Euros and Pounds once lived.

With my head hung low, as I searching the streets for my lost wallet, I retraced my steps through the pouring rain, to my hotel. I asked Fabiola if anyone had turned in a change purse and he responded, “yes-a, I cana maka change.” I then slowly said, “Lost wallet” and showed him the hole in my pocket. He was shocked and concerned and asked if my passport was in my wallet. Luckily, I ALWAYS lock my passport in my suitcase once I reach my destination, as you never know when it could fall out of a hole in your jacket pocket.

Now, $150.00 in the hole, or in this case, out the hole (in my jacket), I grabbed $100USD to exchange for Euros with Fabiola at the front desk. Then to my dismay, and somewhere lost in translation, he informed me that he doesn’t have the rate of exchange, and cannot help. He then directed me to a local travel agent about two blocks away where I would have “a no trouble”. He was wrong. They don’t change dollars for Euros. On to plan “C”… find an ATM.

Just next door to the Meta grocers, I recalled seeing a bank. 8 steps later, I had Euro in my pocket and I was back in business, although decisively, less enthusiastic for retail therapy. I returned back to the Meta and for 1.9 Euro, finally bought my tasty parmesan slices. From there, I once again strolled down the cobble stone streets where the aroma from the bakeries wafted under my umbrella only to make my mouth water. Entering the doors of the brightly lit establishment, there it was. Behold, the CANOLLI. The most perfect Italian pastry ever created. A delightful equilibrium of crunchy outer shell with a creamy goodness made from straight from the heavens above. The true Italian version isn’t dipped in chocolate, or loaded down with sprinkles. A single maraschino cherry dots each end. I order two (one for my patient of course). They wrap it up like a Christmas present straight from Santa himself! Securely beyond mouths reach, I head further down the street, towards my hotel, for a restaurant. Dinner before Dessert, I was raised correctly!

I found a little cafe where they served a caprice salad topped with the freshest mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. To follow, a margarita pizza.

Retail therapy was nothing but a distant memory at this point in time. Caloric therapy was the only way to recover from my lost Euros. Soothing to the soul and the stomach.