Gelato in Florence

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Gelato: YUM!!

Florence has a lot of good gelaterie and you surely can't go wrong if you have feel like eating a good cone of gelato, as ice cream in called in Italian. But as you try more and more gelato and became a sort of expert in the field of "gelato tasting", you'll see that at some places the gelato is just much better than at others - and here we give you a head start in pointing out some of our favorite gelaterie in Florence :).

First off, some brief notes you should know about ordering gelato. You generally pay at the register first, then go claim your gelato at the counter. You can get a cone or a cup, prices are listed generally on a display which indicate cup/cone sizes and cost. Generally small gets you two flavors of your choice, medium and large get you 3 flavors and extra large gives you the choice to get up to 4 different flavors! Choose well :) And now on to the important part...

See where the gelato shops are on the map »

Vivoli

Many guide books indicate that the best gelato in Florence is to be found at Bar Vivoli near Santa Croce. I certainly have not tried all of the flavors but I've gone several times to be able to make an informed opinion (all in the name of research, of course). The flavors are rich and the cream-based are really good, but personally, I've found them to be a bit too cloyingly sweet. I tried the fruit flavored ones and I found them so sweet they overwhelmed the taste of the fruit. Prices are also high for the amount of gelato you get, the servers are on the stingy side. My vote: not the best gelato in Florence.

Where it is
Via Isole delle Stinche, 7r - near Santa Croce, a bit difficult to find

Grom

Having gotten that off my chest, I now tell you what I consider the best gelato in Florence at the moment: Grom. In just a matter of a few years, this gelateria from Torino has opened many shops across Italy and has opened shop in Manhattan, Malibu, Paris and Tokyo. What has made it so popular is its philosophy of offering high-quality ice cream made of high-quality, natural ingredients. If you want pear ice cream, you can taste the pears. Chocolate ice cream is made with cocoa beans from Columbia and Venezuela, pistachio ice cream with pistachios from Sicily or Syria and so on. The fruit gelato offered changes according to the season, which makes sense and every month you'll find a new flavor of the month.

The gelato is soft and smooth - they beat it around the tin a bit before serving it on your cone or cup and if you're a visual creature, you won't be finding the mountains of gelato piled up to tease you. The tins are all hidden in the special refrigerator-freezer they use to keep the gelato soft.

I don't know how the franchising of the product affects quality, but the lines outside attest to its popularity. So if you're in Florence, or in Siena, go look for Grom - you won't be disappointed.

Where it is
Via del Campanile - corner with Via delle Oche to the right side of the Duomo, one street off from Via dei Calzaiuoli

Gelateria de' Neri

The fun part of being in Italy is to eat gelato every day and keep trying new flavors. So even if you fall in love with Grom and return several times during your stay in Florence, there are other gelaterie you should try.

If you're closer to Palazzo Vecchio head to the back of the palace and take Via de' Neri toward Piazza Santa Croce. In the last block you'll find Gelateria de' Neri. I love fruit based gelato and here you'll find a good selection on offer. I love the the passionfruit and mango, strawberrry and lemon. Try your favorite flavor, you won't be disappointed.

Where it is
Via dei Neri 22r

Gelateria Carabe'

At Gelateria Carabe' on Via Ricasoli you should try the Sicilian granitas, a fruit ice slushy that really taste like the fruit they're made out of but the most traditional is a coffee granita. The ice cream here is fine but nothing spectacular.

Where it is
Via Ricasoli 60r

Innocenti

I've heard and read great reviews of the Innocenti gelateria right off the Ponte alla Carraia (second bridge west of Ponte Vecchio, on the Oltrarno side) that offers great gelato at great prices. I definitely have to make my way there soon and let you know whether the reviews are merited! :)

Where it is
Piazza Sauro Nazario, 25/R - Ponte alla Carraia

View the gelato shops on a map!

Outside the historical center

Gelato is a great way to end dinner during the summer but if you're not staying within the historical center and feel like walking or taking the bus in, there are several gelaterie where Florentines go to for great ice cream.

Badiani

This pastry/ice cream shop is located on Via dei Mille closer to the city stadium. Whether you're at a soccer match or staying nearby, we recommend to stop here and try their famous "Buontalenti", a rich, cream gelato named after the 15th century architect Buontalenti who is said to have invented ice cream. It has tables outdoor where you can sit and relax while you enjoy your gelato.

Where it is

Viale dei Mille, 20

Cavini

Cavini on Piazza delle Cure at the end of Viale dei Mille always has a crowd in front during the summer where the gelateria has set up chairs. Has a lot of flavors, all creamy and delicious.

Where it is
Piazza delle Cure - corner with Viale dei Mille

Il Sorriso

In southern Florence, this is a perfect gelateria if you're staying at the nearby Holiday Inn on Viale Europa. This one has you take numbers during the summer, that is how popular it is! All flavors we've had are delicious and creamy.

Where it is
Viale Giannotti/Viale Europa - almost in front of Coop Gavinana, right after the pizzeria "la Piazzetta" which is right on the small square

There are so many gelaterie in Florence, I am sure you'll have your favorite! If you have one you'd recommend, please share with the rest of us on our forum!

About Lourdes Flores

An American living in Florence for over 11 years, Lourdes continues to explore and discover new places in Tuscany with the eyes of a tourist but with the experience of living in Italy. She shares her experiences on this website, blog and offers travel planning help on the Forum! If you have questions for Lourdes, post them on the Forum.

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