Of course you need days to uncover all the wonders of medieval Assisi. But if you’re there in the summertime, do take an afternoon or evening pause to head to the tiny village of Palazzo (pop. slightly over 1000), on the plain below Assisi.
Right across the street from a restored 14th-century medieval fortification (giving the village its name “Palazzo”), families, older couples and chatty young teens sit under the awning at tables enjoying cold drinks….and the famous gelato at the Oxy Bar Gelateria.
For thirty-four years, two brothers, Filippo and Massimiliano, have been creating ice-cream ecstasies. Filippo was making gelato when we dropped in recently. He told me that he and his brother make between one hundred and two hundred kilos a day in summertime.
“Altri gelati preferiti?” (“Other favorite ice creams?”), I asked Filippo. “Pistacchio e nocciola,” he replied without hesitation. I’d guessed pistachio and hazelnut would be other front-runners (often Pino’s choice).
You can also ask for an assaggio (“taste”) in any gelateria if a particular flavor entices or mystifies you. I asked Vanessa serving up the ice-cream to try their “gusto del giorno” (“flavor of the day”). Filippo had created today’s special flavor with mango, pistachio and pine nuts.
…but Anna Maria spooned a bit of Bacio di dama (“a lady’s kiss”) on top, telling me I had to try it.
At Oxy, you’ll find just-made gelato even in the winter months, which is not true of most Italian gelaterie in small towns: gelato comes in with hot weather and disappears as the colder months move in.
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