How I Broke All My New Year's Resolutions in 15 Days

Image“Now, I go on a diet.”

It is eight days into the new year when my temporary house dad in Rome has turned to me and said this. I look at his wife and I joke, “That is possible in Italy?”

Both laughing, “Yes it is.”

I think to myself, ‘Diet…in Italy. Maybe.’ Then I think, ‘Maybe if I don’t eat along my tour of the north which I will be leaving for in a day, I can do an Italian diet—on both my calories and my wallet.’

Not possible. I repeat—Not possible, especially when Torino, Italy, home of the best chocolate in the world is on the list—especially when the 12th day of the 2011 means being barricaded by city walls of chocolate, cream, pastries, and gelato, especially when I have a sweet tooth that I don’t think the tooth fairy will ever collect from me…and especially when the city of Torino even has something called a chocolate pass which allows you to tour all the chocolate of the city within two days. Keeping to my wallet diet, I avoided the chocolate pass…but still didn’t avoid the chocolate. This is how I broke every basic New Years Resolution in the first fifteen days of the year.

Upon arriving in Torino, I knew that I would be in for a challenge with the sweets. Being deemed the best chocolate in the world—even to the Swiss—is a huge accomplishment—because let’s be honest, there is a lot of chocolate in this world. I knew that the temptations would be high and that my strength would be weak. And…my strength was very weak as my first night I indulged in a Grom gelato full of the flavors marron glaces, café, and nocciola (chestnut, coffee, and hazlenuts). Mmm delicious.

ImageTwelve hours later, I was out the door of my host home, and onto the streets of Torino…smelling and taking in the aroma of chocolate and pastries everywhere. Each caffe that I walked by offered another stunning window display of chocolate. Each Tabacchi store that I passed was inviting me in for just a small taste, but I didn’t let the urge get me—yet. Instead, I headed for a cappuccino in the center of the city, rode a panoramic lift to the top of a museum, circled the museum several times, and walked to the top of a hill to indulge in another sweet treat in itself—the view of Torino.

Tired and hungry from walking, I became weak. The scent of chocolate was in the air—either that or I was imagining it because it had been so strong earlier. Either way, I wanted chocolate. I started imagining that the river that I had crossed to climb up the hill had turned into a chocolate moat around the city, that Willy Wonka was canoing downstream, and that I would soon be bathing in chocolate like the character Augustus accidentally did in the original film. I was losing sight of my diet and gaining sight of more window displays of chocolate.

That’s when I found the Pasticceria Abrate in the heart of downtown Torino. I stared at the window of chocolate and tried to fight the urge, but it was too strong. I walked inside, and I said, “Podiere provo un Gianduiotto per favore” (Can I please try a piece of Torino’s most famous chocolate?) And then the baristo was walking away from the register and toward me ready to fill my hand with the most wonderful, delectable, mouth-watering treat in all of Torino. A small, gold packaged Gianduiotto. Part of me hoped that I would open up the small tiny piece of chocolate and find a gold ticket inside declaring that I would indeed get to canoe down a moat of chocolate. While a golden ticket did not appear, a lovely marvelous tiny piece of chocolate did that I bit into hoping to savor every bit. Chocolate and hazlenut combined to leave my mouth paralyzed. Sweet and lovely…Rich and wonderful…This was truly the best chocolate that I had ever tasted. Looking at the baristo, I asked how much the one chocolate cost—thinking it would be 10 Euro for something so magnificent, yet so small, he told me it was on the house. ‘Ha who needs the chocolate pass,’ I thought to myself, and then I was out the door and onto my next target—Caffe Al Bicherin, home of the most famous coffee drink in all of Italy—after a cappuccino.

ImageClearly, my chocolate craving was only partially filled by what I had just tasted as I walked into Caffe Al Bicherin and ordered their “Bicherin” drink which is composed of espresso, cream, and a whole lot of chocolate. Staring at the drink, I debated my course of action for drinking it. It had looked so perfect that I almost didn’t want to indulge—but then I gave in, and any new years resolution to avoid sweets and lose calories was out the window. As I brought the creamy top to my mouth I began to smell a sweet mixture of espresso and chocolate, a smell that had a taste to match, leaving me in a chocolate coma.

But only for six hours…when I got to try my next chocolate creation, a homemade budino con panna—which in America we would call chocolate pudding with whipped cream…but this was different…this was heavenly. A new Italian friend of mine had made it himself and was now dishing it onto my plate and several others. As I dipped my spoon into the mass of chocolate and engaged in my first bite, I was left breathless. “This is amazing,” I stumbled over my words. “This is sooo good.” Looking at me, my new friend smiled, a big huge smile, “Thank you!”

And it was so good—so good that I had a second serving. So good, that now, before the 15th of January, every resolution I could have ever made related to weight and healthy eating was completely out the window…So good, that I made a new resolution: To leave no chocolate behind.


Libby Segal is a recent graduate of the University of Rhode Island where she studied Communication Studies and Film Media.