Italian Ice Cream Tour: A Guide To The Best Gelato in Italy

Whether you've got a sweet tooth or not, if you’re planning a holiday to Italy this year then sampling some authentic Italian gelato is an absolute must. This soft and creamy treat is the perfect pick-me-up after a long day's traveling or sightseeing in the Mediterranean heat.

You'll find plenty of gelaterias around Italy's piazzas, but for a taste of the best Italian ice cream, here are some delicious suggestions:

Rome: I Caruso

Be sure to take a break from trawling Rome's ancient sites to visit I Caruso, whose flagship shop is located on the Corso d'Italia, just a stone's throw away from the picturesque Borghese Gardens. With a menu that changes from month to month, you can enjoy unusual flavours including biscotti, Amaretto and peanut. Another speciality is I Caruso's non plus ultra;’ (‘the last word’) an indulgent ice cream made with mascarpone cream. What's more, they have three more shops scattered around Rome, so you'll never be far away from the perfect sweet treat.

Florence: Vivoli

For the best gelateria in Firenze, stop off at Vivoli, which holds the title of the oldest ice cream shop in the city. This traditional gelateria can be found on the Via Dell'Isola delle Stinch, not far from the Duomo, and offers visitors fresh ice cream made daily. Choices include quirky combinations that you might not stumble upon elsewhere, such as meringue, caramelised pear and banana with pistachio. Those with adventurous taste buds can also sample Vivoli's delicious ‘Riso’, a rice pudding ice cream with rice grains.  If you're planning on staying in one of Tuscany's villas on your next holiday, you could also explore Florence's very own Gelato Festival, which takes place across various dates this summer.

Milan: 

Die-hard shopaholics on a jaunt to Milan will love this popular gelateria, which sells a wide choice of ice creams and frozen yoghurts. Their rich chocolate and fruity flavours are well worth queuing for, including their speciality Cioccolato all’Azteca, a chocolate ice cream infused with a kick of cinnamon and hot pepper. For a fruity alternative, try the soothing mango and honeydew sorbet for a palette-appeasing treat. 

Lucca: Gelateria Veneta

After a days’ trawling around Lucca’s magnificent city walls, the gelato, sorbets and frozen yoghurts on offer at the Gelateria Veneta are just the ticket. Established in 1927, this gelateria is a favourite of the Lucchese locals and has a lively atmosphere in the evenings, conveniently located just off the Via Vittorio Veneto.  The menu offers a smorgasbord of fruity flavours including peach, melon and blueberry, as well as a tasty ginger ice cream. Or, if you fancy something more substantial, couple your gelato with one of their delicious crêpes.

Buon appetito!