When traveling in Italy, you are going to enjoy the best pizza, pasta, wine, and espresso. And, while you stroll down the sidewalk in the warm Italian sun, you are sure to stop and treat yourself to some gelato too. One thing to keep in mind is that not all gelato is created equal. The best gelaterie use the freshest ingredients daily to fill the metal containers you see in the counter when you peek through the window. Others use artificial flavorings and preservatives in their gelato, typically piled high and not made that day.
If you want to find the best, artisanal gelato without experimenting, we’ve got you covered. Compiled here are a few of the best gelaterie in Italy. With any of these you are sure to experience some of the finest flavors and freshest ingredients Italian gelato has to offer.
The Best Gelato in Rome
Location: Via dei Chiavari, 37, Rome.
Opening Hours: Sun- Thur 12PM-11PM; Fri-Sat 12PM-12AM
This gelateria has the best of both worlds. It has all the classics, like stracciatella or chocolate chip, and it’s known for its delicious, unique flavors. Here you can find wasabi chocolate, pear and gorgonzola cheese, and Kentucky Chocolate (dark chocolate, cinnamon, and tobacco). The flavors change with the seasons so there will always be a fresh, new flavor to try!
Gelateria dei Gracchi
Location: Via dei Gracchi, 272,Rome.
Opening Hours: Everyday 12PM-12:30AM
After visiting St. Peter’s or the Vatican museums make the walk into the Prati neighborhood and treat yourself to some of the best gelato in Rome. Rumor has it that this might be the best pistachio gelato around.
Location: Via del Governo Vecchio, 112, Rome.
Opening Hours: Everyday 10:30AM-1AM
Just a five-minute walk from Piazza Navona you’ll find this little gelateria with cone dispensers hanging from the ceiling above the display of gelato. Don’t be too put off by the line, this is a perfect spot to people watch and escape the sun in the narrow Roman streets. Frigidarium has all the classics and their own, self-titled flavor that’s only complete with a Pan di Stelle cookie stuck on top. What makes Frigidarium unique happens after you pick out gelato flavors—you can have your cone dipped in white or milk chocolate!
Gelateria I Caruso
Location: Via Collina, 13, Rome.
Opening Hours: 12-8PM
This is the place to go for the best classic flavors. Creamy fondente, dark chocolate, or pistachio are favorites in this old fashioned gelateria. Be sure to get their panna, whipped cream, on top. For a unique touch, try their marsala wine-flavored whipped cream.
The Best Gelato in Venice
Location: Calle della Bissa, 5453, Venice.
Opening Hours: 10AM-12AM
After taking in the view from the Rialto bridge, make your way to this gelateria that has quickly become a Venetian favorite. Everything from the gelato to the cones and wafers are made in-house with the best ingredients. It’s in a perfect spot to grab a gelato to enjoy while letting yourself wander through the alleys of Venice.
Location: Fodamenta Zattere al Ponte Longo, 922, Venice
Opening Hours: 7AM-10PM
For gelato with a view, take the time to relax and enjoy artisanal gelato along the Grand canal. This gelateria is proud of their traditional recipes, but also makes some new, interesting flavor combinations. It’s the perfect spot to sit and watch the sunset with some gelato.
La Mela Verde
Location: Fondamenta de l’Osmarin, 4977A, 30122, Venice.
Opening Hours: 11AM-11PM
Just a five-minute walk from St. Mark’s Square you can find the bold, creamy flavors of La Mela Verde. Its location makes it the perfect stop for a snack before or after visiting Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. If you want something other than gelato, try their crepes!
The Best Gelato in Florence
Gelato de’ Neri
Location: Via dei Neri, 9/11r, 50122, Florence
Opening Hours: 10AM-12AM ; Closed Monday
After marveling at the art of the Uffizi Gallery, take a five-minute walk to treat yourself to a refreshing treat. This gelateria has a wide variety of quality flavors. From strawberry and pure chocolate, to more unique flavors like rose and gorgonzola, you’ll have tough choice to make. Plus, if you want to try something other than gelato, they sell granita, or Italian ice, that is perfect to sip on a hot day.
Location: Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25/r, 50124, Florence.
Opening Hours: 11AM-12AM
For quality gelato at a low price, La Carraia is the place to go. You can use it as an excuse to see a bit of Oltrarno, the neighborhood known for its artisan shops, on the other side of the Arno River. Try one of the delicious seasonal fruit flavors or the Tiramisu mousse for a classic flavor with a unique texture.
Location: Piazza del Duomo, 45/R, 50122, Florence.
Not only does this gelateria serve a small, unique variety of artisanal flavors, but it’s also perfectly located in Piazza de Duomo. They are a certified organic gelateria—the first in Tuscany. Try one of the flavors named for their grandmothers or son which are all recipes inspired by, or coming from, the namesakes themselves.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list and there are many other deserving gelaterie out there. So, when you’re traveling through Italy, why not conduct your own gelato survey? While conducting your research, be sure to keep these two fundamental laws in mind: Bright colors equal unnatural ingredients and a mountain of gelato is not fresh gelato. That bright red mountain of strawberry gelato looks beautiful, you can find better elsewhere. When you find another artisanal gelato gem during your own research, let us know in the comments.