How do I roast chestnuts?

When I was in Italy (I will never tire of saying that. Sorry) I had roasted chestnuts from a street vendor. Simply divine.
They're not a big thing in Texas. surprise, surprise. When I lived in St Louis they were everywhere. I decided to make them and they weren't so good. Some were rotten and the rest just weren't so delish. I want to try it again so I need a little guidance. I'm wondering if they were so dreamy because I was in Italy.

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