Ge·la·to: A dairy based form of bliss and sunshine. Best made in Italy.
In Italy, gelato is not only a dessert – it is an art form that ignites the tastebuds with rich and full flavors. Living in Milan was the gateway for me to try a multitude of gelato, but my fascination was not confined to this city. With each new destination around Italy I made sure to try a new gelateria. From international chains to family owned stores, I went on quite the adventure to find the best gelato in Italy. So here are my Top 5 Gelaterias to visit should you find yourself in the beautiful country of Italy.
As one of my first experiences with gelato in Italy, Grom will always have a special spot in my heart. The flavor options more more limited than some of the other gelaterias on this list, but not too worry! Grom is one of the few gelateria chains to offer gluten free options so... #winning. Another selling point is their wide geographical spread with shops all around Italy as well as a growing international market. Recommended flavor: Crema di Grom.
4. Latte Neve
A personal Milano favorite, Latte Neve, was my first experience at more unique flavors of gelato. From Black Pepper and Pistachio to Sesame, they had so much variety to offer. An added bonus is that the staff here is a complete dream! Never in my life had purchasing gelato been such social and friendly experience – not to mention the great location in Navigli, a neighbourhood in Milan with many young adults and night life. Recomended flavors: Cheesecake & Crema.
Easily found in every major city, airport, and train station around Italy; Venchi is the Audi of gelaterias. When you go in you can expect to receive good quality consistently as a standard. Interiors alway adorned in gold and white, this is the stop you go to for the experience rather than for unique gelato. All that being said, Venchi will never disappoint and I highly recommend mango.
2. Chocolat Milano
Coming in at No. 2 we have Chocolat Milano. This is a must go to if you find yourself in the city of Milan. With giant servings, a plethora of options, and rich flavors this is the perfect afternoon stop on a hot day. For those of who may not be a fan of gelato, Chocolat has many other chocolate based desserts that are equally as fantastic, breakfast pastries, and a lunch menu. My recommendations: pistachio, pear, or chocolate along with a nice walk by Duomo.
1. La Carraia
Located in Florence, La Carraia provided the best gelato hands down. If you do decide to grab some gelato on you way to Ponte Vecchio make sure the you budget some time because the line is sometimes out the door, but very well worth the wait. After trying 6 or so of their flavors, I was certain that La carraia knew how to deliver every single time. From fruit based gelato to cream and even "savory" flavors, the choices were vast and each taste better than the last. Recommended flavors: Creme Caramello & Nocciola.
While these were my top 5 gelato places, I must say that there are so many more worth trying! Some may say "Go where the line is longest", but my recommendation is to always ask the locals! Gelato – in my opinion – is food for the soul; eat and be merry!