By: Mary Fran Bontempo
It’s so unfair. The long days, the warm, lazy stretches with a built in excuse to relax, stare at the ocean, spend hours immersed in a book and indulge in all manner of cool, refreshing treats have once more drawn to a close with the end of summer. Somehow, it seems such a lovely time of year should be allotted more than the requisite three month period, but alas, it is not to be.

Or is it? The days may be getting shorter and the mercury might be dropping, but it’s still possible to hang on to some of the wonders of summer all year long.

Last week, the NRFGP bloggers met at the home of our own Chrysa Smith for a gelato party to celebrate the end of summer as well as our site’s “half-birthday.” (Any excuse for a party!) And thanks to the generous folks from Ciao Bella Gelato, who provided us with coupons for some delicious free treats, we happily indulged in an evening of friendship and cool, sweet fun.

With gelato flavors like Belgian Chocolate (“robustly creamy”), Tahitian Vanilla (“classically exotic”), and Pistachio (“intensely savory”), coupled with Coconut (“refreshingly tropical”), Lemon Zest (“strikingly zesty”), and Mango (“tropically smooth”) sorbets, Ciao Bella has created an all natural, award winning assortment of delicious offerings that delight the palette. According to the company’s website, (, Ciao Bella Gelato “began in New York’s Little Italy and has been tempting taste buds since 1983.”

 A favorite pairing of our night was the Belgian Chocolate Gelato complemented by the Coconut Sorbet, tasting like a frozen version of that classic candy, the Mars Bar. For a lighter, fruitier touch, Mango and Lemon Zest fit the bill perfectly. And if you’re a Pistachio fan, well, just yum.

NRFGP Illustrator Pat Achilles

The brand can be found locally at Target stores and Genuardi’s supermarkets (see the website for stores in your area) and provides a delicious taste of summer all year long. And don’t forget to add a group of friends to share the sweets. It’s another way to keep the summer vibe alive!