Michael Movestro says farewell to Palio Pronto which will be replaced by Starbucks.
My go-to Vegas Must for gelato, Palio Pronto, has closed at Bellagio. It closed last month, and I wanted to write something to pay tribute; however, the holidays happened, and there was a lot of Best/Worst stuff that needed to post on-schedule. Now that I have a moment, I wanted to do this write-up, (even if it is just for me to look at many years from now) and mostly to inform those of you who may not have heard. Palio Pronto was the off-shoot of Palio Cafe, which is still open.
Palio Pronto was located on the lower level of the Bellagio via the Flamingo Rd. entrance. It was a personal favorite of mine. No trip was complete without at stop at Palio Pronto, within steps of the Bellagio Fountains. They served other to-go items, but for me, it was all about the gelato during a fountain show.
I was fist introduced to Palio Pronto via the trip reports of one “UK John” aka “John-UK” aka “VivaLasVegas” aka “John from the UK” in 2011. His trip reports read like a novel, with wonderful pictures and very detailed explanations. In one of his reports, he talked about grabbing a gelato at Palio Pronto and heading out to the fountains for a show. Enjoying a delicious gelato while watching the Bellagio Fountains? Count me in!
It was now 2012 when I was back in Vegas and wanted to visit Palio Pronto. Here’s a snippet from the trip report I wrote about my first Palio Pronto experience in 2012:
I remember John from the UK mentioned in his trip report about the mango sorbet and vanilla gelato at Palio Pronto in the Bellagio, so I knew that’s what I wanted to have while watching a fountain show.
I headed over to the Bellagio, and walked all around the casino, the conservatory, the lobby, the shops and just could not find the place. I asked one of the employees and she gave me directions. Long walk ensued and sure enough, at the bottom of the stairs right before you exit at Flamingo Road, (ground level, not pedestrian bridge) there it was. I had the vanilla/mango in the same cup and was mouth-stopping (the moment when you bite into something and your mouth just stops and you just have a moment of euphoria over how tasty something is). I headed over to the front center of the fountain just in time for a show to start. I’m not certain what song was playing, but it was orchestral and had no lyrics and the composer in me appreciated it. It was a nice moment.
Of course, since then I’ve used the simpler way to get there; walk to the right of the fountain and follow it to the Bellagio entrance by Flamingo Rd., boom, Palio Pronto is right there. Fast forward to December of 2016. I had just returned from Vegas gathering pics and info for the Vegas for the Holidays series. I was editing that week’s SYMHM article when I read that Palio Pronto will be replaced by a Starbucks. I paused, I read it again, I checked the source, I wondered if it was just a rumor, hoping it was just a rumor. But MGM Officials confirmed it when I asked, stating:
Good morning. Palio Pronto closed on December 5 to undergo renovations. The space will reopen in February as a Starbucks.
There is no shortage of Starbucks on the strip, btw.
James @Cruiseshipcrew on twitter was kind enough to send me pics of the construction wall. Palio Pronto was officially gone forever.
Although I had visited Palio Pronto on every trip (sometimes multiple times, admittedly) since 2012, that last December 2016 trip was almost the first time I didn’t make it there. After a long day on the strip, my wife and I were at the Bellagio, I was getting video of the conservatory. I looked at the time, it was 11:30 pm. My wife and I were both exhausted and decided to sit at the slots. I said to myself, “Well I guess I can have gelato and a fountain show next time.” Then something inside me didn’t feel right, there was almost an urging “Go, go get gelato and see a show. You never know if this might be the last time!” I turned to my wife and said, “We should go to Palio Pronto and go see a fountain show. I don’t feel right by not going.” Off we went. We got our gelato and took in two fountain shows while enjoying it. I didn’t realize at the time that Palio Pronto would close just two days later. I’m glad I didn’t put it off!
Palio Pronto gelato during a fountain show is the place I go when I need to go to my “happy place”. I snapped this picture in October, and I’m glad that I did:
I’ll need a new gelato-go-to close enough to the fountains to enjoy both at the same time. But until then, I’m grateful for the memories. But….a Starbucks at Bellagio? *smdh*
[Photos and Images: James @CruiseShipCrew, Michael Movestro]