Chocolate and Café Gelato in Italy Photo Credit: Suzy Guese
There may only be a few scoops of people in this world who cannot appreciate a good gelato. Some would say those people are pazzo (crazy).
Most gelaterias in Italy are destinations unto themselves for the unusual flavors produced like rose and the surrounding idyllic scenery of Italy. As the weather gets colder, it may seem a little crazy to lick up a cone of bacio or strawberry. However in Florence gelato is always in season, surviving centuries of rain, flakes of snow, and cold along the River Arno.
Florence native Bernardo Buontalenti is said to be the first person to bring gelato into the world. As the story goes, he made gelato for Catherine de Medici in the 16th century, receiving high praise for his dessert. A man with the last name translating “good talents”, Bernardo may have been born to create one of the many works of art to come out of Italy.
If you are thinking of visiting Florence this fall, do not write out gelato. The city is packed with choices. However, some of those choices can be overpriced and disappointing in taste. Some of the top three gelaterias in Florence should be visited instead to ensure a good gelato experience.
The setting of Grom is sophisticated and classy, right down to its neighbor Il Duomo just steps away. Gelato is stored in shiny silver vats, anxiously waiting for a scoop to taste test Grom’s flavors. The gelateria offers a flavor of the month, normally coinciding with flavors of the time of year or in season fruits. November’s flavor of the month is Torta Caprese, a dark chocolate gelato with Sicilian almonds chips and Battifollo artisan biscuits. While the gelateria is a chain with stores all over Italy and in other parts of the world like New York and Tokyo, Grom does not dish out a chain-quality dessert. Lines form out the doors even in freezing Februarys in Florence.
Il Gelato Vivoli
Il Gelato Vivoli hides a street behind Piazza Santa Croce. Since 1930, Vivoli has served its acclaimed gelato to locals and tourists. The gelateria offers a few cases of flavors, making it easy to find the one of choice. However, the staff on occasion has been somewhat icy to tourists. The rich taste of Vivoli’s chocolate and banana though may make you forget about rude service.
Gelateria Santa Trinita
While Gelateria Santa Trinita is relatively new to Florence, opening in 2008, its gelato is not green by any means, aside from the pistachio. If you are looking for a good gelato at a low price, Gelateria Santa Trinita gives just that. However the real treat of the gelateria may be its location. Gelateria Santa Trinita positions itself across the Santa Trinita bridge. With gelato in hand, visitors can sit on the bridge while gazing out on the famous Ponte Vecchio.
For more on gelato, check out WhyGelato.com.
For more on Florence, read Florence: Discover the art and architecture that gave birth to the Renaissance by Jeff Titelius.