The first evening we were in Rome this summer, I remembered the amazing creamy, icy and homemade taste of Gelato—Italian Ice Cream…literally the best ice cream in the world.

Gelato

 

But, after a long day of travel and an albeit delicious meal, we wandered and I failed to research and Yelp. We landed on the first Gelato spot we found and ended up with sub-par Gelato that I paid 15€ for.

Yep, you read that right.

I hate to admit any screw-ups, but part of learning how to travel inevitably involves a screw up here and there and this is one of mine.

Typically, a small gelato should not cost more than 3€, and in our defense, these ones supposedly didn’t.

But in the bleary-eyed-ness ( not sure if that’s a word) of nearly 2 days on one hour of sleep, our Gelato rang up to about 10,5€ ( already too much), but I was too tired to care, handed him a 20, grabbed my change and left. It wasn’t until we had already scarfed down our delicious ( I can’t hate on the gelato) dessert that I realized I had only received 5,5€ back.

I was angry, mostly at myself. But, also committed to not letting it happen again.

When visiting Italy, you want authentic gelato, Italian Ice Cream. This post explains how to make sure you don't get ripped off on Gelato on your next Italian vacation

Any Gelato is better than no Gelato. But, after getting swindled once, I was glad I took the time to do some research to make sure the rest of our trip to Italy only involved the best and most authentic gelato we could find.

So, if you are preparing to go on a Roman adventure and search for the best and most authentic gelato in Italy, here is what I have learned that you must look for in a gelato to enjoy the best ice cream in the world (and not get ripped off.)

Gelato runs (on average) from 1,5-4€ Euro depending on size and scoops.

All prices should be listed and if you can’t speak Italian, point to what you want either on a cup or cone sign.

Gelato Price List

Real homemade Gelato should come from a metal tin.

Gelato served out of metal tins is more likely to be homemade. Plastic flexes better in freezers and may indicate a pre-made or (eek) shipped product. But, metal holds temperature better and is pretty much a staple at authentic gelaterias.

 

When visiting Italy, you want authentic gelato, Italian Ice Cream. This post explains how to make sure you don't get ripped off on Gelato on your next Italian vacation

If the Gelato is too puffy—avoid

Some gelatarias ( mainly around touristy sites), add air into their Gelato to make it super puffy and appealing to your eye.

When visiting Italy, you want authentic gelato, Italian Ice Cream. This post explains how to make sure you don't get ripped off on Gelato on your next Italian vacation

It may be appealing to the eye, but this is not what you want to see when looking for authentic gelato.

Gelato is meant to be soft and shouldn’t come up too far above the tin. If it does, it’s probably been pumped with air, contains additives or been previously frozen (or all of the above) to give it its mile-high consistency. Real gelato is fairly dense and would be tougher to whip up as opposed to the ‘powdered mix’ counterparts.


Color

Check out the color. The best gelato should look natural. Mr. L, loves pistachio and the best pistachio gelatos are a bit of a gray-ish green. If it looked like mint, we walked away.

When visiting Italy, you want authentic gelato, Italian Ice Cream. This post explains how to make sure you don't get ripped off on Gelato on your next Italian vacation

Bonus Tip: Typically, you pay first at the cashier and then give the gelato counter your receipt and pick your scoops. We had one place do it the opposite way because we were the only ones in there. But paying first is standard practice.

So, where should you go if you really want the best gelato Italy has to offer? Here are some of my picks.

Venchi- Florence 

Venchi Gelato was some of the best gelato we had in Italy

Venchi is an Italian national chain, but is incredibly exquisite chocolate and gelato. It’s one of the best we had in Florence.

Venchi Cioccolato e Gelato, Firenze Via dei Calzaiuoli, Piazza del Duomo Via dei Calzaiuoli, 65/R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

If you miss out on Venchi during your travel, there is a store open in FMO airport for that final fix before departure.

Bonus: If you miss out on Venchi during your travel, there is a store open in FMO airport for that final fix before departure.

Giolitti -Rome

I could easily say Giolitti has the best gelato in Rome, but that may be biased since it was my favorite.Perhaps the best gelato in Rome, Giolotti is a bit of a landmark, as it is also reportedly the oldest ice cream parlor in Rome.

Giolitti is a bit of a landmark, as it is also reportedly the oldest ice cream parlor in Rome. Thus, it was a bit crowded, but I don’t think the acclaim is for the history alone. My strawberry and limoncello combo was heaven on a summer Italian evening.

Address: Via Amerigo Vespucci 35, 00153 Rome, Italy

La Maison de la Crepe- Venice

Venice is pricey and super touristy in the main areas. So, stumbling on this little gem was a treat… literally and figuratively. Their hazelnut gelato was the perfect mid-afternoon snack to hold me over until a late dinner.

La Maison de la Crepe- Gelato in Italy ( Venice)

Needless to say, I am glad I figured it out early and enjoyed my fair share of ice cream while enjoying Italia. If you’re an ice cream lover, want the best gelato in Italy or simply appreciated the tips, would you mind sharing this post to help others not get cheated out of the best ice cream in Italy.

Ciao!

When visiting Italy, you want authentic gelato, Italian Ice Cream. This post explains how to make sure you don't get ripped off on Gelato on your next Italian vacation

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