I’m fairly certain that it is some ancient Roman edict somewhere that if you travel to Italy, you must have gelato. And heaps of it. Seriously, it is THAT good, and not having a scoop (or two or ideally three) would almost be a crime against nature. So go ahead, indulge and enjoy some of the best Italy has to offer! Below is my list of the absolute must-haves and favorites of my trip after many, many, many servings of gelato. Which, I consumed all in the name of research!
MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE — DON NINO
This is the creme de la creme of gelato wizardy. Not that they fill it up with crazy artificial ingredients–they say it’s 100% natural. Add to that, ice cream (or gelato) cone towers with pistachio and nuts and then topping the gelato off with a pretty delicate wafer as well. Molto elegante!
Where to Find: Don Nino is in both Florence and Rome and near the major tourist destinations by the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Florence’s Duomo. Check the website http://www.don-nino.it for further locations. And, uh, bring be back some, please!!!
Venchi is like the Instagram superstar fashion blogger with the millions of the followers and the millions of the likes — the hashtag #ItGirl. Always the glummest of the glans and ready for its chic closeup, Venchi is nevertheless the real deal. From the Insta-ready decor to the chocolate fountain wall–made from real chocolate, Venchi is always camera ready. But style meets substance, and Venchi is delicious as well… whether you’re enjoying their gelato or a crepe or any one of their other sweet, sweet, gelato-heaven concoctions.
Where to Find:
Venchi is basically everywhere. Seriously, I should’ve started counting how many we passed as we walked through Europe. But it’s also here in the USA as well, with locations in NYC’s Eataly’s — and will be arriving in Los Angeles soon!!
EDOARDO IL GELATO BIOLOGICO
When the line is huge, you know it’s going to be delicious. When a friend who spent a semester in Florence says it’s their favorite here, you know it’ll be worth the wait. That’s how I came upon Edoardo Il Gelato Biologico. Edoardo has inventively unique flavors that I simply did not see anywhere else, like peach and prickly pear. And the locals love to come here so what could be better than experiencing gelato like a true Florentin?
Where to Find:
Piazza del Duomo, 45/R, 50122 Firenze, Florence, Italy
Slurp! is Italian gelato with an exclamation point! Cinque Terre is in a class of its own, always a little different from the hustle and bustle of much of the rest of Italy’s major tourist destinations–and with very much it’s own tastes, including its gelato. Slurp! celebrates these flavors by offering such enticing, locally-inspired options like lemon gelato and it is delicious. Forget fancy cones and the toppings that you might find in Rome and Venice. But the gelato will nevertheless send you spiraling into #foodieheaven, particularly when enjoying (and Instagram capturing) among the Cinque Terre’s picturesque beaches.
Where to Find:
Via Fegina 86, 19016 Monterosso al Mare, Italy
Like Venchi, you’ll likely find Grom everywhere. It’s the Italian Starbucks of Gelato. Also like Venchi, Grom isn’t just in Italy–but has been not so quietly taking over the world one gelato scoop at a time. Find them in Paris, Nice, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Dubai, NYC and even Los Angeles–at both the Malibu Country Mart and Hollywood & Highland.
It Italy, you can find them across Italy, in long list of cities including Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Genoa and even Verona (in case you find yourself craving gelato while indulging in living out your Romeo & Juliet fantasies. But no matter where you are, Grom is always sourced from fresh Italian ingredients and a safe and delicious bet with a few rotating flavors each month.
Where to Find:
Pretty much every major Italian city has a From but you can always check their site for specific locations in where you’ll be visiting!
JUST ABOUT EVERYWHERE
Gelato is one of the most delicious treats in Italy so if you pass by another gelataria that looks good to you, give it a try! One note important note before you do: the best gelato are the flat gelato. The super whipped, puffy kind are artificial and made for tourists. Try them if you like (Who knows, maybe that’s your thing), but if you want to indulge like a true Italian, go for the real thing.
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