Where to find the best gelato in Italy

Vy Tran | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Having lived in Italy for more than a year, I have tried countless scoops of gelatos. As a gelato enthusiast, I have many tips for you on how to choose the best gelatos. In this article, I will also share with you the most impressive gelatos that I have tasted in Italy. But first of all, let's understand the difference between ice cream, gelato, and sorbet:

What is gelato?

Whereas ice cream sometimes contains egg yolks, gelato (the Italian word for ice cream) never uses eggs. Also, a gelato contains more milk and less cream than an ice cream, hence its denser and silkier texture. Meanwhile, a sorbet does not contain any dairy and is often made out of fruit juice. Needless to say, among the three of them, the gelato is my favorite because I love its creamy texture and flavorful taste. However, not every gelato is equal, thus, always you have to look for a high-quality artisanal gelato, even when you're in Italy.

How to identify the good-quality gelatos

How to find good gelatos then? Firstly, don't be fooled by the attractive presentation of the colorful piles of gelatos. Authentic gelatos should maintain their natural colors (white, pale pink, pale green, brown) as seen in the picture below. Avoid any gelatos with bright colors such as bright pink and blue. The natural pistachio gelato, for instance, is never in bright green. The taste of the home-made gelato must be fresh and distinct. For example, the banana gelato should taste exactly like the banana. The texture is extremely smooth, creamy, and silky. Fancy gelatos are usually kept in containers with lids but it is not always the case with good and budget gelatos. The final rule is that the lesser the flavors, the better the taste. Look for gelaterias that focus on classic flavors. Like any other Italian dish, such as pizzas, pasta, and tiramisu, the classic flavors are always the best. The most popular flavors are pistachio, hazelnut, chocolate, and fior di latte (simply cream).

Next, I am going to tell you my favorite gelato flavors and gelaterias in Italy. In Rome, my to-go gelaterias are La Gourmandise in the residential neighborhood called Monteverde Vecchio, and Il Gelato di San Crispino in the center. I almost always order the pistachio and hazelnut flavors but sometimes I am an adventurous taster. The pistachio gelato at La Bottega del Gelato in Pisa was top-notch but the one that won the best title "The Best Gelato in the World" in 2017 was in Spoleto. In Numana in Marche and Corniglia in Cinque Terre, I tried some fruity innovative flavors such as the combinations of chamomile, lemon balm and passion flowers as well as cherry and ginger. My most favorite gelateria in Italy is a local-favorite on Giudecca in Venice. I loved all the flavors there and the freshness of the gelato left me speechless.






The best gelato in the world

How gelato is made

Making gelato is not that difficult, yet an important ingredient that can only be found in artisanal gelato is the "passion" of the maker. To learn more about how artisanal gelato is made, check out this fun and insightful video from the Eater:

Share with us your favorite gelato flavors or gelaterias around the world by commenting below.

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