If you’re looking for the best gelato in Florence, just follow this gelateria itinerary.
Gelato is one of life’s greatest pleasures, except when it’s six months old and has suffered tragic freezer burn but the cafe charges you three euros for a cup of that goop anyway. That sucks. To avoid this monumental letdown, I’ve made the ultimate sacrifice and tasted all the gelato in Florence on multiple occasions (just to be sure). I have listed some of my favorites below, arranged for maximum geographical convenience in case you decide to go on some kind of amazing and wonderful gelato crawl that you should do if you treasure pure happiness. Don’t worry, you’ll walk off all the calories while you walk from gelateria to gelateria. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.
Going roughly in a circle, starting south of the Arno near Ponte alla Carraia, begin with Gelateria La Carraia. Facing the river and Ponte alla Carraia, this gelateria, boasting 32 flavors, isn’t shy about trying to cover all the bases. Walk east along the river to Gelateria Santa Trinita. This is some of Florence’s best gelato. It’s not a large selection, but it’s about the smoothest you’re ever going to get.
Cross Ponte Santa Trinita and zigzag north to Festival del Gelato. If you have perhaps become bored with the typical flavors in most shops and are thinking “Why hasn’t anyone made gelato out of papaya, green melon, amaretto, tartufo (truffle) and other totally unexpected things like that?,” then you’re gonna love this place. It’s another zigzaggy walk southeast to Gelateria dei Neri. This small place offers a variety of cold and “semi-cold” flavors, including the heavenly Bacio, based on the chocolates made in Perugia.
Head north to the nearby, crazy popular Gelateria Vivoli. In addition to the standard cups and cones, they sell gelato in tubs as well as pastries and cakes if you’re planning a party. Just two blocks father north is Vestri, which, by all reports, is the best gelato in Florence. They are also, and more famously, a chocolate-maker. It’s a bit of a hike northwest to Carabè, a family-run place with several generations of experience. They focus on Sicilian gelato, sorbet and ice cream sandwiches. Finally, a few blocks farther east is Antica Gelateria Fiorentina where they maintain a small selection of gelato that is reliably fresh.
Best Florence Shopping and Markets…shop till you drop.
Florence Art Museum Crawl…start with the Ufizzi and it only gets better.
Florence South of the Arno River…after the Pitti Palace
Must-See Churches of Florence…history, art, architecture, cathedrals and bunch of saints.
Must-See Museums of Florence…prepare to be spoiled for the rest of your life.