Tuesday, March 30, 2010


While backpacking through Europe, my friend and I met in Florence. We were exhausted, it was pouring rain, and we were down to our last Euros. Only gelato could cheer us up.

We found the cheapest place and sank into the seats, grateful for the warmth and protection from the storm. We pointed at the 2€ sign on the counter and ordered. Out came gigantic scoops. We savored each bite, until they brought the bill. Apparently, 2€ was take-away only. If you sit inside, gelato costs more, you pay for service and the table too! We didn't have enough money! I envisioned us washing dishes to work off our debt.

Andrea looked at me, and said, "Let's run!"

“No! I've never stolen anything!"

"We have no choice! They're not looking. Go!"

Before I knew it, she was gone. The waiter turned, I panicked, and took off running. We raced up the street with them in hot pursuit. She had chosen the worst escape route possible- up a gigantic hill. I tried to imagine what Italian jail would be like and ran faster. We ran for miles, and then out of nowhere, found ourselves in a gorgeous park. The rain had stopped. Everything was a vibrant green and we collapsed in a fit of laughter & embarrassment. I, in no way condone stealing, but we never would have found this oasis if it weren’t for our “transgressions”. I’ll just have to pay twice as much for my gelato next time.

*Written for a Budget Travel contest asking for your best travel stories in 250 words or less. Think it has potential or should I send in another?


  1. I like this story - it's very unlike you to commit "thievery" but it's worth a shot to enter into the contest. What might you win? If this is one of many stories you have to tell, I want to hear the rest....

  2. I still feel guilty about it too! I'm obviously not cut out for a life of crime. You win a 17 day caribbean cruise, so I figured it was worth a shot.

  3. I can't judge until I read the other stories. Please share!

  4. It was due on the 31st, so I sent this one in, but apparently it's a monthly contest. So, maybe I'll just keep trying with all my other stories. I'll wear them down eventually!

  5. Please keep trying~ I'd love to read all your other stories~ :)