So you have a pretty good job, do you? Nice office with a view, a few weeks’ vacation? Boss is cool, casual dress on Friday? Check out this one: getting paid to eat the world’s best gelato, all around Rome, every day. Kind of makes that office look a little smaller, doesn’t it? This job actually exists. And that is only because Elizabeth Minchilli dreamed it up and starting doing it recently, as part of her overall pursuit to eat the most delicious foods Rome has to offer and make a living in the process.

Elizabeth really does take the concept of dream jobs to a whole new level. She manages to do this because she knows Italy well, she stays on top of technology, and is bullish on the idea that when it comes to tourists in search of fine food and wine, Italy will always sell. Elizabeth’s route to her life in Rome will sound familiar to many. She spent a year abroad in Italy during college, earned a master’s degree in art history in graduate school, and soon fell in love with a handsome Italian. But while most stories like this make a turn back to the United States, leaving only fond memories of Italy behind, Elizabeth was here to stay.

The St. Louis native explains, I decided that maybe I didn’t really want to go back to the States and teach undergraduate art history somewhere in the Midwest. So I changed gears and very soon had a husband, babies, dogs, and a brand-new career writing for magazines like Architectural Digest, World of Interiors, Art & Antiques and Bon Appetit.

Like many magazine writers, Elizabeth one day realized that she had become a blogger, too. These days, she posts regularly about the tempting cheeses, enticing vegetables, and extraordinary meats she has comes across in the Eternal City, the recipes that contain them, and the hidden restaurants that serve them.

In turn, her blog became a great tool to attract readers who might want Elizabeth to take them around on eating tours. After munching her way across Rome for 20 years, she has a mental database of all the places to find the tastiest pastries, freshest mozzarella, or whatever it is you’re craving. Most recently she has created two mobile apps, called Eat Rome and Eat Florence, that put her personal recommendations at the fingertips of hungry tourists on the move.

One sunny June day in Rome, she had just completed one of her first ice cream tours and sort of marveled aloud at the turns her career had taken. She never dreamed she’d be doing this sort of thing back when she was poring through archives for information about the 16th-century garden grottoes designed by Bernardo Buontalenti.

Then again, no one really knows what career turns lie ahead. Take Buontalenti himself for example. It turns out that he too liked to think about food a little more than architecture, and in the end he made a pretty important contribution to the Italian culinary scene. You guessed it: the invention of gelato.





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