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Travels: Gelato!

How can I visit Italy without gorging myself silly on gelato? Seriously, there are gelaterias in every corner much like Seattle and its every-50m-a-Starbucks. Oddly, the sight of bright colored gelato never failed to bring a smile to my face.  Not to mention greed as well.  More often than not, the stomach just did not have sufficient room to enjoy a cone at that moment.  So...I could only manage four throughout the trip. 

I know, I suck.


Anyhow, I will share these four coveted gelaterias that were chosen after much research on the "best" gelaterias in each city. 


What's awesome about this artisanal gelateria is that it is by far the one with the most number of branches. It originated in Turino and I had mine in Milan. It is even available in the USA! In addition, there are seasonal flavors as well as monthly flavors.  Torn between so many flavors, I chose a pairing of Sicilian pistachio and dark chocolate sorbet with dark chocolate bits.  First, I must tap myself on the back for the most delicious pairing.  That said, the pistachio was oozing nutty flavor and had a little rough texture.  The dark chocolate sorbet blew my mind because I could. not. tell. it was sorbet at all.  It was rich and creamy all the same.  And the cone was a waffle cone which was delicious.  I don't like the wafer type.

The first gelato of my trip.  Memorable. 
2. Caffe Miretti
Apparently Caffe Miretti is one of the most popular caffes in Turin and a must if you’re Torinese. This caffe has a nostalgic old-school style that you could hang and savor local flavor. I tried the Fior di Panna, which was essentially a milky cream flavor.  It was rather sweet, like condensed milk, and melted quite easily.  It got a little too much for me midway, but I finished it anyway.

Address: Corso Giacomo Matteotti, 5 10121 Turin, Italy

Tel: 011 533687

3. Riva Reno

This is another popular chain highly recommended.  I tried a combination of Pistachio and Pear sorbet.  Again, it was spot-on complementary.  I loved the refreshing taste of the pear sorbet that also wasn't too sweet.  Here, the pistachio was really full of nutty flavor.  The texture was smoother than Grom but I daresay the flavor was much robust at Riva Reno and my prefered choice.

Address: Viale Col di Lana, 8 20136 Milan, Italy (google for others)
Tel: 02 89077147

4. Perche No!
This is a Florence gelateria, just off the main strip and easily found.  I wanted to go to a different one but it wasn't open at 10am.   Yes, I wanted a gelato at that hour!  At Perche no, I got the seasonal flavors - cachi (persimmon) and marron (chestnut) for only 2 Euros! By far the cheapest.  Oh they were soo good.  Cachi was a little bit sweet but still I could taste the persimmon.  The marron was the winner though.  It had a rich, powdery but smooth texture and had a roasted note.  Oh I want one now.

Address: Via dei Tavolini 19/r, Firenze, Italy 50122
Tel: +39 055.2398969

counter guy

Pistachio and Dark chocolate sorbetto
Pistachio and
Dark Chocolate
Sorbet from Grom

Gelato Fior di Panna – Latte fresco, Zucchero, Panna fresca
Fior di latte
from Caffe Miretti

riva reno
Pistachio and Pear
from Riva Reno

Cachi and Marron Gelato
Persimmon and Chestnut
from Perche No!

Gelato (Northern Italy), a set on Flickr.

Interestingly, here are a few things about gelato in Italy:

i. the recommended ones are usually off the main tourist strip;
ii. these are almost always labeled "artisanal"
iii. so these artisanal gelaterias always have a laboratorie look and feel and that means their gelato in steel vats and covered, unlike the ones along the main streets with exposed colored mounds of creamy goodness just shouting out at you

Just some random thoughts :)


PS said…
i love gelato too. ahhhh -,-

did you visit japan recently? will you be posting some of the better restaurants (that is worth the money or the stars)? I'm waiting for your recommendations because I can't afford to go to all the michelin restaurants, hehe.

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