When I first moved to Rome I noticed many people walking around with wrapped packages that looked like gifts. I wondered about the parties that they were going to. I saw teenagers, senior citizens, and all ages in between, carrying packages neatly wrapped in colorful paper and tied with ribbon. I soon discovered that they were usually on their way home from the bakery with cookies or sweets to share with their family after dinner. The wrapping turns the simple gesture of stopping for cookies or sweats into a special event.
Today, one of my students brought in a package of cookies for our class from her grandfather, who is a baker in Tuscany. Her grandmother is visiting her family here in Rome. The cookies were on a nice gold foil cardboard tray, making them easy to serve "right out of the package."