Gelato in Italy

Italian ice cream

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No trip to Italy is complete without eating gelato, believed by many to be the world’s best ice cream. Gelato actually has less cream than regular ice cream and therefore less fat. Slower churning incorporates less air, making it denser and the flavors more intense.

You will find gelato almost anywhere you go in Italy. Look for a gelateria, a shop specializing in ice cream. You’ll find it in some Italian bars as well.

You can order your gelato in a coppa or coppetta (cup) or cono (cone), usually with two or more gusti (flavors). Most shops have labels in the display to help you choose the flavor you want; the labels often include a picture, too (such as the fruit or nut the flavor derives from). If you can’t pronounce the words, just point to the flavors you want. Just like when you order drinks in a bar, you will usually pay more to sit at a table.

Tips for finding good gelato in Italy:

  • Look for a sign that says gelato fatto en casa (homemade), produzione propia (our own production), or artiginale (artisan).
  • Look at the colors. Fruit flavors should not be brightly colored but should somewhat resemble the actual fruit. A good test is the pistachio, it should be very pale green or even almost beige.
  • Avoid places with puffed up piles of colorful gelato on display. They are likely to have extra air added as well as artificial colors and flavors.

At A Glance


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