Is Love & Gelato a True Story or Based on a Book?

Brandon Camp’s young adult romance movie ‘Love & Gelato’ comes off as a sweet affair filled with gooey goodness and the ambiance of a travelogue. The film follows the coming of age of 17-year-old Lina, who arrives in Tuscany despite her best intention, paying heed to her mother’s final wishes. There, she finds a family among strangers and partakes in clumsy escapades with two charming suitors. Meanwhile, Lina falls in love with Italy’s celebratory zeal, guided by her mother’s voice.

When everything goes awry, a spoonful of gelato uplifts Lina’s mood. Following its release, the movie attracted the young adult demography, thanks to its characterization and authentic setting. However, you must wonder whether there is any truth in the romance tale. In that case, allow us to take you to the places.

Is Love & Gelato a True Story?

No, ‘Love & Gelato’ is not based on a true story. The film is a work of fiction, and it does not seek to project documentation of actual events. Brandon Camp, the writer of ‘Benji’ and ‘Dragonfly,’ directed the movie from a script he based on Jenna Evans Welch’s eponymous bestselling novel. The fans of Welch loved the book and were eager to experience a screen adaptation, and Camp did an excellent job in changing the medium.

For Welch, the novel is quite extraordinary as it conceals a part of the author. As she reminisced, the story was with her for more than half her life before it came out in the final form. In an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, Welch revealed, “I went to an international high school in Florence and one of my friends grew up in an American cemetery, where her father was the caretaker. My friend used to go running among the tombstones every morning.” Welch, who was 17-years-old at the time, thought that it would make a great book.

The bestselling author has wanted to be a young adult fiction writer since childhood. She began working on the book at the ripe age of 22, but it would require seven years and several revisions before it could finally come out. While writing the drafts, Welch borrowed heavily from her experiences during her stay in Italy. The author could not get enough of the world-famous gelato, especially her favorite flavor, Bacio. While referring to a sumptuous mixture of hazelnut and chocolate, “Bacio” also incidentally means “kiss” in Italian. Welch recollected that she had two or three scoops of gelato a day during her first summer in Tuscany.

Image Credit: Maila Iacovelli/Netflix

The discovery of the wonder is attributed to Italian chef Francesco Procopio Dei Coltelli. In the late 1600s, Coltelli introduced gelato at his Café Procope in Paris, earning notability in the city and the rest of Europe. Gelato enhances the Italian connection, for sure. Welch was contacted by several directors who showed an active interest in adapting the novel into a movie. Brandon Camp stood out for the author thanks to his persistence. As the author had a lot going on at the moment, as a professional writer and as a mother, she could not invest herself in the adaptation process.

However, Welch trusted the moviemakers with the material and was pleased to see the final product. The movie also conceals some places where Welch hung out as a teenager. While watching the film, the author was so excited that she thought of texting her friends from Italy. The director tweaked the story in some places. A significant change was having the character Addie in the film, as she only appears in the second book of the series, ‘Love & Luck.’ Considering everything, we contend that though ‘Love & Gelato’ bears some resemblances to the author’s experiences, the core is fictional.

Read More: Where Was Love & Gelato Filmed?