Hello, my dear friends! One of the things we really looked forward to before our trip was gelato, it is one of the foods that all four of us love. As it turned out, we probably used up all the ice cream quota of the year. 😀 In today’s post, I will reveal the secret to identify the most authentic gelato wherever you are in Italy, as well as a few gelateria recommendations in Rome and Florence.
The word “gelato” means “frozen” in Italian, it differs from our regular ice cream because it has less fat and less air. During a food tour we took in Rome, we learned that almost 80% of the gelato on the market was not the real deal, they are made from a chemical pre-mix. While they might be very colorful and pretty to look at, it is not the gelato you want to consume a few times a day. Here arethe three things our guide told us how to tell the real thing from the fake, together with some images I took of the gelato we had throughout the trip, be warned that you might have a craving after view it! 😀
Armed with the tips, and the recommendations from friends & our hosts, we were able to find a few good artisan gelateria. Giving we only went to four cities, the list below is for Rome and Florence primarily:
- 1. La Gelateria Frigidarium
- This is place that is down the street from our Airbnb apartment. There is always a line outside of this shop and it gets particularly longer after mid-afternoon. It so happens that this gelateria has the highest rating on TripAdvisor. They offer both gelato and sorbet, a small size comes in two scoops, you can choose to have whip cream and cookie, or dip the gelato in chocolate. The cost is about 3 – 4 euros. Personally, I think the chocolate coating could be a bit distracting to the flavors.
Even if you are on a cruise & spend just one day in Rome, chances are you might get dropped off at Piazza Navona for a couple of hours, then venture off a little to this shop, it is less than 5-min walk away.
This is the gelateria we visited as part of our food tour. Definitely a neighborhood gem that is better known the the locals. The owner serves the gelato himself, he would question even refuse your choice of flavors if they really don’t compliment each other.
This one is recommended by a friend of mine who frequents Rome. You might also see the name in quite a few “best gelato in Rome” lists. We went to the one near Trevi Fountain, right across from the Pinocchio shop. There a quite a few branches of this gelateria around town including one at the airport, just in case you got that last minute craving. ;D I got their famed “Honey” flavor and the traditional stracciatella.
4. Perche no!
Recommended by both our Airbnb hostess and our food tour guide, this place is a true winner! We came here almost every day during our entire stay in Florence and tried a bunch of flavors. The first one I had was honey with sesame, the combination of sweet aroma of honey and the crunchiness of roasted sesame seed was just pure bliss (see the first pic below). My last one was turmeric which turned out to be very delightful (the last pic of the video above).
Another excellent artigianel gelateria we bumped into when we were trying to locate this restaurant. This quaint little shop was right across the piazza. I had black cherry sorbeto and fig gelato, I have to say, they are super yum. If you are staying in Florence for a few days, spending one evening visiting this shop after dinner at the restaurant next door (also well-love by locals) is definitely worth the time.
This is a chain chocolatier, it also offers great gelato in classic flavors. We didn’t visit them in Florence but we had some at Venice train station. For there is no great gelato in Venice, this is probably a good place to get your fix.
Last but not least, I found this article on a gelato sommelier that would be a great background read for this delicious treat. In the article, there is a link to US-based resources for authentic gelato. I hope you will check it out.
Thank you so much for reading! See you in my next post!
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