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Gelato recommendations

Our family of 5 is traveling to Northern Italy for two weeks and are determined to try as many different flavors of gelato as possible. Any recommendations for some slightly different flavors, perhaps regional, that this forum would suggest? Mille grazie!

Posted by
1071 posts

Years ago in Rome I found grand mariner. I haven't been back to Rome since but I have not been able to find it in other parts of Italy.

Posted by
7124 posts

Grom is a chain that's even in USA and Japan now. Their quality is great, and they have special creations each month. Look for them when unsure.

Posted by
9477 posts

Not unusual but I can never pass by pistachio. Once we found red plum at Gelato del Teatro in Rome. That was darn good!

Posted by
1446 posts

Small producers make seasonal flavors, too -- in late spring go for the apricot, in autumn the various red fruit berries. In northern Italy you might find rhubarb!

Posted by
11852 posts

Fruit flavors can rotate according to which fruits are in season at the time so, say, if peach is in the cooler, then peaches are in season so it's a good time to have that one, Other flavors like cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate), limone (lemon) and nocciola (hazelnut) are in stock all year.

Avoid gelaterie with neon-hued creams as while they're attractive in the case, they're using artificial coloring. The best are often not brightly colored so a really good pistachio is more often a soft grey-green and not the color of Kermit the frog.

I've had Grom and it was great but we've just stopped by random shops and had just as good. One I remember well was a trailer-type stand outside Milano Centrale train station: yummy! It was recommended by the receptionist at our hotel who said that was one of her fave go-to places.

Posted by
813 posts

At San Crispino in Rome several years back, saw a flavor called Speculoos, which I had never heard of. I asked what the flavor was, and was told "ginger" and I gave it a try. It was very good, but only later did I find out it was named after a cookie flavor and that ginger wasn't exactly what it was...but it was close enough!

Posted by
7124 posts

My favourites down here are ...
•Coconut & lychee
•Blood orange & Campari
•Apple pie - with distinct flavour hits of apple, cinnamon, pastry and cream.

Just go with the flow and see what's available. Over 2 trips, I've had - melone (cantalopes), cinnamon/ginger, various berry ones (blackberry is my favorite), honey/sesame/ginger (that one is one flavor by itself), pear/port wine (again, single flavor), banana,etc..
Better to get tips on what to look for and which places. What cities will you be in? Trastevere by any chance? Great gelato place there.
Look for words on signs like artisanal, fatto in casa, something like "fatto Manu." These words mean roughly homemade.
If the gelato looks "fluffed up," brightly colored with chunks of fruit on top - it is the equivalent of store bought grade gelato. Looks pretty - but not the highest quality. Attractive in window displays for tourists walking by.
The best quality has a flatter profile - usually in a metal rectangular pan, and paler colors. The consistency of premium gelato is such that it cannot be "heaped" up. Also, natural foods have more muted colors. Bright colors are achieved by food dyes. Example - pistacchio should be a pale, dull green - not an attention getting bright green.

So many flavors - so little time! The fruit ones are great.

Posted by
98 posts

U can get Kermit gelato ?? <<

Watch what you wish for. Some of the artisanal gelaterias offer some 'interesting' flavors. I haven't seen this yet but it might just be a matter of time. :-)

Posted by
1778 posts

There are endless flavors...you'll never taste them all. I'd be more concerned with quality...few bright colors, metal containers and if it's piled high you should wonder how it stays frozen without additives(it doesn't). It should be covered and you can look for a sign that says homemade but if you don't see the equipment .....I'd still wonder.

Posted by
1307 posts

My most memorable gelato ever was the nocciola (hazelnut) at Grom in Venice. Incredibly wonderful.

Posted by
11613 posts

Rice gelato, ricotta gelato, fruit or coffee granita.

Pistacchio is my absolute favorite, especially in Sicilia!

Posted by
354 posts

While at the gelato place, don't forget to try an "ice" if they have it. I had a watermelon ice at Perchè No in Florence that tasted better than real watermelon!!

Posted by
801 posts

So many flavors, so little time! Hey, you are on vacation so nobody can tell you that you can't have a gelato break at noon, midafternoon, after dinner and before heading back to your hotel room! Keep a list of favorites and celebrate with them on your last day. Of course you may not want to get back on an airplane and head home to 'ordinary' ice cream! Gelato - proof that life is good!

Posted by
1641 posts

Honey fig
Pistachio
Strawberry

Look for places that serve artisan gelato made at the location.

Where will you be going? I know of some great places in Bologna and Torino.

Posted by
5789 posts

There is a lot of stuff out there especially near tourist paths with giant piles of brightly colored product topped with slices of fruit that is just average supermarket ice cream. You do need to find good places that use 'real ingredients' and make it on site. We found Rome to have a lot of terrible gelato but we stumbled on a hole in the wall with amazing fruit flavors and could never locate it again -- sort of the Shangri La of gelato places.

Perche No in Florence near Piazza Signoria has interesting sort of spicy flavors; they have different specials and a fairly small array of flavors we got some really good ones there with cardamon and similar spices. Vivoli has tons of flavors; I love pear gelato -- a flavor I love but that is not very available in the US; their chocolate with orange rind is really good as well. Caribe near Academia specializes in granita although they also have a few flavors of gelato.

Posted by
19 posts

mille grazie! During our prior trips to Italy we have tried quite a few flavors but thank you for the additional suggestions, particularly for the regional or less well-known.

Posted by
2245 posts

Licorice! Had it at the little spot by the port in Vernazza, fantastic.

Posted by
17 posts

If you find any with honey - I would recommend that. My go-to gelato is Pistachio!
Avoid the super sweet sugary flavors and go for local fruit and nut flavors!
Avoid Champagne... sounds exciting... I was not a fan.

Posted by
225 posts

There's a little place on Via Spadari in Milan (near the Duomo) that makes Limone i basilico (lime and basil). It is hands down, the best gelato I have ever had!

Posted by
813 posts

I believe "limone" would be lemon, not lime. It does sound like an interesting flavor!

Posted by
5457 posts

In Bologna, "Due Torre" at the shop across from the Two Towers that are a symbol of the city. Some kind of chocolate with chocolate chunks.

Posted by
236 posts

In San Gimignano, I had blackberry & lavender. Heaven. Recently in Florence at My Sugar, I had the sea-salt caramel. So good - I'm thinking of moving to Florence!

Posted by
1214 posts

I had Mojito flavour in Florence. There was a sign saying it had no alcohol in it; but it was very refreshing on a hot day!
Also I've had fig and ricotta together , also in Florence.
When in Italy, I believe it is mandatory to have a minimum of three gelato breaks per day.

Posted by
83 posts

U can get Kermit gelato ?? <<

Tastes like chicken.

Posted by
11613 posts

Limone e basilico is lemon and basil, lots of places make it.

Speaking of refreshing on a hot day, cold milk with mint syrup, or a mint granita are excellent.

Posted by
337 posts

I had a zenzero (ginger) in Venice that was not good. If you're into candied ginger, make sure they are using candied ginger and not raw.

Otherwise, my rule of picking the local/seasonal special or the oddity never failed me, though every now and again a fruitti di bosci never hurts.

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks everyone for the recommendations! We also subscribe to the "anytime is a good time for gelato" theory, and have assembled quite a list of flavors to try. Mille grazie!

Posted by
225 posts

All I can say is, the limone i basilico was green. Maybe it was kermit flavor after all. ;) lol. Can't wait to have it again when I return this summer!! Lemon, lime...who cares. It's AWESOME!

Posted by
225 posts

All I can say is, the limone i basilico was green. Maybe it was kermit flavor after all. ;) lol. Can't wait to have it again when I return this summer!! Lemon, lime...who cares. It's AWESOME!

Posted by
307 posts

Also had lime and basil in Milano. Awesome. Husband really likes pomegranate that he had four years ago in Firenze. Finally found another version in Milano - good but not as good.

Posted by
3562 posts

I kept all of our gelato spoons during our last trip and lined them up on our kitchen counter to post our Facebook photo that we had a great trip. - 30 spoons (two of us)!

I tried lavender in Torino, and there's some creative flavors now. My favorites are still pistachio and coconut.

Posted by
5789 posts

when we were in Florence, Perche Non near Piazza Signoria had interesting spice flavors that were very good. Vivoli had a chocolate with orange peel that was my favorite and dozens of other flavors. Note that the places with big tubs of brightly colored gelato topped with fruit slices often in tourist walkways have for the most part supermarket quality ice cream. And Rome in our experience has terrible gelato unless you seek out really good places. We actually threw some of what we bought away. so it pays to get a list of good places. We found a hole in the wall in Rome that was wonderful but alas loss track of where it was. I am not fond of chains but Grom sort of converted me. They have a chocolate sorbet with dark chocolate bits called chocolate noir in France and recently had a lemon merinque with lemon zest; both were really quite amazing. My husband likes pistachio and there area lot of good places for that in Italy.

Posted by
5789 posts

when we were in Florence, Perche Non near Piazza Signoria had interesting spice flavors that were very good. Vivoli had a chocolate with orange peel that was my favorite and dozens of other flavors. Note that the places with big tubs of brightly colored gelato topped with fruit slices often in tourist walkways have for the most part supermarket quality ice cream. And Rome in our experience has terrible gelato unless you seek out really good places. We actually threw some of what we bought away. so it pays to get a list of good places. We found a hole in the wall in Rome that was wonderful but alas loss track of where it was. I am not fond of chains but Grom sort of converted me. They have a chocolate sorbet with dark chocolate bits called chocolate noir in France and recently had a lemon merinque with lemon zest; both were really quite amazing. My husband likes pistachio and there area lot of good places for that in Italy.

Posted by
3562 posts

Another name brand location with excellent gelato, similar to Grom, is Amorino. I've had their gelato in various locations in France, and I see they're located in Milan & Verona. If you order a cone, they shape the gelato as a flower with flower petals.