Experiencing Gelato in Florence
Florence is one of my favorite cities in the world; with some of the best art, architecture and culture in Europe, it is just so quintessentially Italian. Of course, that includes food as well, and Florence has some of the best! Studying abroad here for one summer back in university, I spent a ridiculous amount of time eating gelato. It fit my student budget, was perfect for grabbing on-the-go and was quite simply flat-out a delicioso treat to eat one or two (um, sometimes three) times a day in the hot summer months!
The thing about gelato is: it’s so much more than what we know as ice cream! Though its flavor is richer and denser than regular ice cream, it actually contains less fat- (more whole milk to cream), allowing the flavors to shine through. Also, it’s churned more slowly than ice cream, so less air is whipped in and the final product is denser and more richly flavored (gelato has about 25-30% air while ice cream can have up to 50% air!)
So how about the best places to grab gelato when in Florence? Well, my personal favorite spot is called La Carraria Gelateria, located right at the end of Ponte alla Carraria (Carraria Bridge.) We always called it the “One Euro Gelato” shop because you can get a scoop for a euro (with larger cups/cones increasing from there, but not by much!) The price is great, and the gelato even greater. The creamy flavors are decadent, the pure essence of pistachio, caramel cream, coffee and mint chocolate (to name a few!) The fruity, more icy options burst with refreshing, juicy flavor. There’s always a line here but you’ll appreciate the wait to pick out your flavor combination! Then it’s the perfect spot to take a stroll along the river with your melty, delicious conno or coppa.
Another great spot to grab gelato in Florence is a shop called Perche No (“Why Not!”) It’s an artisan gelateria, in Florence since 1939 and still creating handmade gelato everyday for all those years. You can really taste the freshness of the homemade gelato here- try the crema made with lemon rinds and vanilla, or panna con amarene with cream and black cherries. The lighter flavors (sorbetti) are great as well- peach, melon and strawberry taste just like biting into the fruit!
While these are just a couple of great places to try gelato in Florence, there are hundreds of others to pick from- so go on a gelato tour and find your favorites!