Living in Rome makes it impossible to ignore a forthcoming election given that this is where it is
all happening. As the big day gets closer, more posters of politicians are being pasted on every public vertical surface known to man. My particular favourite is over the bus route maps so I can stand at a bus stop and enjoy the surprise of not knowing which bus will arrive or where it will take me for that matter. Every day the posters increase as the politicians fall out with each other and invent yet more parties. I believe there are more political parties competing for the title this year than varieties of short dried pasta available in my local supermarket. There's even a woman, I hear she's a fascist but from what I have understood that just means she shaves and doesn't wear long hand-knitted scarves unlike her opponents at the other end of the political jousting pole. My money is on Bersani, the James Taylor lookalike, but I'm likely to be disappointed when he gets into power and we end up hearing the same old tune, "Shower the rich people you love with money!"
Last Sunday, to escape the endless political TV debates which Gastrognome sits glued to, I suggested
we visited a chocolate factory. After nearly a year of peace from Berlusconi, now he seems to be
everywhere again like some performing play-dough garden gnome , tacky and inappropriate but
still as popular as ever. At least we could finally escape him at the chocolate factory. Anyone with a
chocolate addiction who visits Rome should hop on a 492 bus at Largo Argentina and head to SAID
in San Lorenzo. When you jump off the bus, the surrounding area is pretty dull and you can bet
everyone walking around is on their way to SAID because when you get there, you will find it packed, especially late on a Sunday afternoon when you may have to queue for a table. The chocolate and cakes are delicious, the presentation is so beautiful, if I bought a box of chocolates, I would probably never eat them. (Likely!) I hear the white hot chocolate is delicious but we went for a traditional hot chocolate, so thick your spoon can stand up in it and you can scrape messages of love into the chocolate residue left on the cup when you have finished. Divine. I can't wait to go back and taste more chocolates and next time, I'll see if I can find a nice big chocolate toffee to shut Berlie up with for good.