When I told my friends back at Drexel that I was going to be studying abroad in Italy, they all just kept telling me how much I was going to love the gelato here. Back home I crave ice cream for pretty much every occasion and meal, so coming to Italy is kind of a dream come true for someone who loves ice cream/ gelato so much. My first day here, one of my roommates and I were walking around and we found a little gelato shop. We both got a medium sized gelato, which in Italy costs around 3 euros, depending on the place you go to, and allows three flavors. I was so surprised because they filled my cup up so high, and gelato is richer than ice cream, so it was almost too much gelato, which is something I never say. But after learning that, I have been purchasing the 2.50 euro small gelato with two flavors at every gelato store I have gone to since. Having now gone to other places in Italy, I can say that other than Rome, most small gelatos are 2.50 or less. And in most places, there is a different gelato store at every street corner. I have been keeping track of all the places I have eaten gelato from and have been trying to taste as many flavors as I can. I tend to go for the non fruity flavors to really enjoy how rich and sweet the flavors are here. So here is a list of my favorite gelato places in Florence and my favorite flavors:
- Sbrinos: This is a little gelato shop that is conveniently located very close to my house. The first time I went here the server was so nice and fun and they have an especially good dark chocolate gelato flavor. I like this place because the flavors seem to be more subtle so you can appreciate them more.
- La Carraia: This is a shop with multiple locations, but every time I pass one, there is always a huge line waiting outside of it. They have so many different flavors to choose from. Their amaretto flavor really stood out to me. It has a nice crunch that makes each bite very exciting.
- Venchi: Venchi is another chain store. This store is a little more expensive than other places but I think its one of those shops you have to go to if you want gelato in Italy. Their cappuccino flavor is really good. I have not seen another place that sells cappuccino gelato, and they top it with coffee powder to add to the flavor!
- Gelateria Santa Trinita: I think my favorite flavor comes from this store. I tried a flavor called cookies here. And though this flavor exists at other gelato shops. Their cookies flavor has been the best I have had. It had cookie pieces in it which gives a good crunch with every bite, and gelato is so rich and creamy, which adds to the flavor.
- La Strega: This is a little gelato store located really close to the school. We came here once for our Italian class to practice ordering in Italian and ever since, me and all my friends have been obsessed. This is a smaller store with fewer flavors but the flavors are very different. I cannot remember the name of my favorite flavor from this shop but what I can say is that each flavor here has a very distinct taste that is different from most of the other gelato I have tasted.