Let’s be clear; Gelato and Ice Cream are not the same thing.
Gelato is creamy, cold, velvety, and comes in a multitude of flavors. But what is that makes the difference?
Gelato contains more milk than cream, hence it freezes at a lower temperature and tasts cooler, lighter, and more refreshing. It contains less air than ice cream, it has a short shelf life. It must be sold the same day, or short after. It must be produced in small batches.
It is easy to fall in love with gelato. They are beautifully presented pressed into cruchy waffle cones. Every gelateria offers an array of flavors to chose from. It makes you feel so good having all these possiblities in front of you.
Although I always choose just one flavor (I do not like to mix the flavors), and often always the same. I have a few sure bets; hazelnut, vanilla, coffee, pistacchio, figs. Although coffee + hazelnut do mix particularly well.
Every town has a famous and more than decent gelateria, but I made a list below of the best in towns that are popular destinations. These are the best gelaterie in Italy:
Stefano Dassie, Treviso (Veneto)
This gelateria scores number 1 for best chocholate ice cream. Their webpage is also very inviting, showing unusual flavors such as Lemon & Basil, Coffee Ciock (Locally-sourced milk, high-quality coffee, dark chocolate and meringue); Ricotta and Figs, and many others.
Zeno Gelato e Cioccolato, Verona – Veneto
Timballo, Gelateria Fior Di Latte Udine – Friuli Venezia Giulia
Perhaps the most contemporary of all, Timballo proposes the most cutting-edge flavors alongside the classic flavors such as fiordilatte, hazelnut, pistachio, almond, vanilla cream, coffee, tiramisu, panna cotta, amarena, and stracciatella and many others, the ice cream parlor offers personalized tastes, created by the search for traditions and the transformation of natural ingredients. And so are born, according to season, many new ice creams such as: white vanilla with rose petal syrup, the First Flower (marsala zabaione Florio with caramelized pine nuts), Cream of Persimmons, the Dark Moor, the Cream of Grape, the Oriental Cream (butter, cinnamon, figs, buckets and prunes with Grand Marnier). Then there are what they call Cuvè ice cream: Ice cream born from the meeting of two flavors: Grappa Nonino stravecchia and chocolate Caramelia Valrhona.
Oggi Gelato, Udine – Friuli Venezia Giulia. Honorable mention. The pictures are taken at this Gelateria while enjoying their gelato with “Pistacchio” from Sicily.
Paganelli, Milano – Lombardia
Pavè – Gelati & Granite, Milano – Lombardia
Gelateria della Passera, Firenze – Toscana
Dondoli, San Gimignano (SI) – Toscana
Gelateria dei Gracchi, Roma – Lazio
La Gourmandise, Roma – Lazio
Otaleg!, Roma – Lazio
I hope you have a chance to enjoy one of these, or all, if you prefer.