My Daughter’s Quest for The Best Gelato in Italy, Lucky Her!

This will be my final blog post for my mom about the food I ate on my trip abroad. Personally, I think I saved the best for last.

I like to think of myself as a gelato expert. I love gelato; I eaten I don’t even know how many scoops of gelato. I feel like I can distinguish good gelato from great gelato, thus obviously making me an expert in gelato.

So, when I set out on my trip, I was on a mission. A mission to find the best gelato. I would give it some preliminary research, set myself some rules, some things to judge on. This is was going to be serious business.

The rules:

  1. I would have to always get one specific flavor to use as a constant. I chose Chocolate al Fondant (Dark Chocolate).
  2. I would have to also get at least one sorbet
  3. I would have to always get a cone

Things I would judge on:

  1. The consistency
  2. The freshness
  3. The cone
  4. The overall experience

The findings (ranked from least favorite to favorite):

  1. GemmaHow I discovered: Recommendation from my AirBNB hostFlavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, Coconut

    Now I was so so disappointed by this one! I asked my AirBNB host where’s the best place for gelato in town, and I had such high hopes getting a recommendation from a local. However, I should have known when he responded with “hmm best place for ice cream?”

    That’s exactly what this was, an ice cream place, not a gelato place. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t gelato, it was a hard scoop ice cream, making it score very poorly on a gelato ranking.

    The ice cream itself was decent. Nothing special. None of the three flavors had that strong of a flavor. I actually had some difficulty trying to decide if I liked them or not just because there wasn’t so much flavor. Cone was good, though, but overall, this stop wasn’t really worth the calories.

    img_5792

  2.  Gelateria Lariana – ComoHow I discovered: TripAdvisorFlavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, Coconut

    This was a very meh gelato. It was good, not great. Did I enjoy it? Of course. Would I go back? Probably not.

    The chocolate was good, but had the very slightest powdery feel, a rookie move. The coconut was definitely my favorite of the three. It was creamy yet light, however, it wasn’t as textured as I typically like my coconut gelatos/sorbets to be. For me it was the strawberry that really put me off. It didn’t really hold the sorbet crown. It was a bit icey and a bit syrupy. Overall, not the greatest.

    The cone, though, was good. Very thick.

    img_5657

  3. Suso Gelateria – VeniceHow I discovered: TripAdvisorFlavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, Mango

    Suso is ranked the #1 gelateria in Venice. But, would it be ranked #1 on my mission for the best gelato?

    Located in the Rialto market area, this place was bustling with tourists. I got a little scared when she asked for my order so I ordered the usual: Chocolate, Strawberry, Mango even though a overwhelming majority of the flavor options were gelato, not sorbet.

    To be honest, I don’t remember this gelato very much, and I forgot to take notes on it. However, I think the fact that I don’t remember it very much says a lot. I’m pretty sure I thought it was decent, nothing special. I do, however, remember throwing the cone away, which again says something.

    Maybe I just got the wrong flavors or was starting to get sick of gelato, but I’m a bit confused as to how this landed the #1 spot on TripAdvisor.

    img_5965

  4. La Carraia – FlorenceHow I discovered: Trip Advisor, recommendation from other touristFlavors: Chocolate, Coconut, Salted Peanut

    When waiting in line to see Giotto’s bell tower, I encountered another solo traveler who told me this was the best gelato in Florence, and the best passionfruit anything she’s had in her life I went two hours after meeting her

    It was absolutely packed when I got there, but I think there was even more flavor options than people. When it came time for me to order, I panicked and uttered “Chocolate, Coconut, and Salted Peanut.” I don’t know why I ordered salted peanut. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t had peanut butter in over two months, but in general, I’m really not a nut-gelato type of person.

    Thus, I wasn’t the greatest fan of the Salted Peanut, I really wished it had been more peanut buttery. I can’t tell what the difference is between “salted peanut” and “peanut butter” ice cream, but this was definitely more on the “salted peanut” side of the spectrum. But it was good, texture was good. All of the flavors were really good. The coconut, especially was really, really good. The chocolate, however, brings the score down a little bit for me. Don’t get me wrong it was delicious. Although, for me, I didn’t think it was as rich and creamy as the other one’s I had tasted and I also think it ran just a smidge on the bitter side.

    Overall, it was a good ice cream. Also, the cone was good, it was homemade. I regret not getting the passionfruit as my new pal had recommended, but it was a very enjoyable mid-afternoon snack.

    img_5308

  5. Gelateria dei Neri – Florence:How I discovered it: Stumbled upon, confirmed with Trip AdvisorFlavors: Chocolate al Fondente, Coconut, Mango

    This was my first ice cream of my trip and boy did it set some high standards. The dark chocolate was fantastic: it was creamy, not powdery, it wasn’t bitter, but yet had a delicious, rich flavor. The coconut and mango were equally as delicious. Fresh & creamy, especially for a sorbet. I personally love coconut ice cream for the texture, and the texture of this one was great, however, I did wish that it had a little more coconut flakes in it.

    The part that really knocked off a lot of points for me was the cone. I personally absolutely despise store bought cones. They taste like absolute cardboard. I was so upset when I bit into the cone only to taste its cardboardiness. So sad, I had such high hopes.

    So if you go to Gelateria dei Neri, which I highly recommend you do, please get the cup.

    img_5073

  6. Gelateria Ponte Pietra – VeronaHow I discovered: TripAdvisorFlavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, Mango

    After Como and Bergamo, I was really looking to find a gelato that would grant my love affair with gelato a new life, and I think Gelateria Ponte Pietra did just that.

    Uh, it was so amazing. The strawberry and the mango were so fresh and so hit the spot on that super sunny day. Each, you could tell, were made with the freshest ingredients and weren’t icey or syrupy, they were just perfect. And the chocolate, man the chocolate was good, wasn’t the best I had, but man it was good.

    And the cone, it was also good, homemade, goodness, and it’s wide set held my three scoops perfectly. God bless.

    img_6236

  7. Gelateria Ca D’Oro – VeniceHow I discovered: Stumbled Upon/TripAdvisorFlavors: Chocolate, Strawberry

    This ice cream was so good. The chocolate was incredibly rich and beautiful and was even delicately complimented with beautiful little dark chocolate flakes. And the strawberry, wow, fresh and equally as gorgeous. It was a beautiful cup of ice cream.

    I know, I know what you are thinking “Alya, cup?! What about the cone?!” I know, I know, I broke one of my rules, but I just really wasn’t in the mood for a cone. I just wanted a fresh pick-me-up, and a lot of times the cone fills me up. I will say, however, that I went back for seconds, which that time, I did get the cone, and it was good.

    But look at cup. That is a good-looking cup of ice cream. Much more attractive than how I was looking after walking 30,00+ steps in the Venice heat.

    img_6424

  8. Il Mossimo – MilanHow I discovered: Recommendation from TouristFlavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, Coconut

    This is it. The creme-de-la creme. The best gelato of the trip.

    Remember that girl I mentioned I mentioned earlier who I met in line for Giotto’s bell tower in Florence? Yeah, well when I told her I was going to Milan the next day. She stopped everything, looked me in the eyes and said “you have to go here.” She went on by telling me that it was easily the best gelato of her life. As soon as she finished her gelato, she walked back and immediately got a second one, and she changed her train out of Milan just to go back and get another one before she left.

    I had to go.

    Now this gelateria is a bit of a trek, it’s about a 40 minute walk outside of Milan’s city center, but personally, I think that walk justifies getting a third scoop. It’s tucked away in the middle of china town and it’s filled only with locals, a very good sign.

    I decided on my regular: chocolate, strawberry, and coconut. I mentioned earlier that I was using  dark chocolate as my control in this experiment. Well, this gelateria had not one, not two, but nine different dark chocolates. NINE. I settled on the 100% cocoa to get the full experience.

    Wow. Just Wow. Amazing. Completely worth the 40 minute walk, and I don’t blame the girl at all for pushing her train back. In fact, I contemplated doing the same.  The chocolate was delicious: so rich and bursting with 100% chocolatey goodness. The coconut was incredible. In my notes, I literally wrote “oh my god” under the coconut. The texture was perfect: just the right amount of coconut meat. The strawberry was divine. So fresh and so creamy. Not too milky, just perfect. Additionally, you could really tell it was made from fresh strawberries, and not just any fresh strawberries, but the ripest and juiciest strawberries of your entire life.

    The cone, additionally, was top-of-the-line. Homemade, buttery, thick, everything you could ever want.

    On top of everything, I was so so happy I waited until 9 PM for this ice cream because the outside conditions made the ice cream melt at the perfect rate. For once I didn’t have to shove it down my face before gelato juice made it down to my hands making everything sticky.

    I only wish I had gotten a better photo to accurately portray it’s amazingness.

img_7691

So that’s it! That is the end of my gelato ranking mission. 24 scoops of gelato later. I know the suspense was killing you. I’m sorry for the lack of my colorful language to distinct all the different cones of ice cream, but it gets really difficult to describe the same flavors that were all delicious differently. You’re just going to have to trust the ranking.

One would think I’d be tired of gelato, heck I thought I would be tired of gelato. However, I was back at my favorite gelateria in Cagliari within a week of getting back. Whoops.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my little contributions to my mom’s site. I know I had a blast writing for her. If you missed my earlier posts, you can find them here (my favorite meals) and here (my favorite sweet treats excluding gelato). Additionally, if you in general are interested in what I’m doing living in Italy, or just are curious into my life in general, I also keep a blog. You can find it here. 

Thank you so much for reading.

Best,

Alya

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *