Florence, Italy is known as the birthplace of gelato, so you might suspect that anywhere you visit would have high-quality gelato. Unfortunately, this is not quite true since many gelaterias, especially in central tourist areas, use artificial coloring and flavors and this is not the way gelato should be made! Avoid the fakers and take yourself to an authentic and naturally delicious gelateria during your next visit to Florence.
Gelateria dei Neri
Gelateria dei Neri is a popular spot with lines often reaching down the street during hot days. But don’t let long lines discourage you, the lines move fast and their gelato is worth the wait. Once you enter the small shop, you’ll note a huge selection of flavors including hard to find options such as rose, matcha, chocolate made with brown sugar, and salted caramel.
When ordering, keep in mind that the sizes are huge and a small is often enough. You’ll be given the option to pick two flavors from their wide array of flavors. My suggestions are their mint and salted caramel. They also serve up an amazing caramel fudge and chocolate fudge that are meant to be served in a small scoop to accompany ice cream. These are especially sweet and rich.
Gelateria dei Neri also sells granita, which is Sicilian shaved ice. This popular treat is a lighter option than gelato but is equally refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
Gelateria dei Neri doesn’t have a website, but you can find them on Via dei Neri, 9/11, 50122 Firenze FI. They are open until 12 am every night, so they are pretty much your only very late night gelato option.
Gelateria Il Sorriso
Located in the not-oft visited Gavinana district of Florence, Gelateria Il Sorriso is definitely a hidden gem loved by locals but little known by tourists. On top of their affordable prices (under 2 EUR / 2.36 USD for a small), you’ll get to select at least two flavors (depending on the size) from their massive selection. All flavors are freshly made using in-season ingredients, so the flavors available change depending on the season. Standout fruit flavors include fig, strawberry, peach, and mango. Delicious sweet gelato offerings include dark chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio, and zuppa inglese, which is a specialty regional flavor that has a vanilla/custard base with cookies and chocolate mixed in.
In addition, Gelateria Il Sorriso has a wide selection of vegan gelato that tastes surprisingly similar to milk-based gelato. This is also the only gelateria I’ve included on this list that offers vegan (and lactose free) gelato.
Il Procopio is an excellent artisanal gelateria that serves a variety of unique flavors and has even won prestigious awards for their gelato. One of their best flavors is called Il Procopio, which is a spiced base flavor chock full of dried fruits and nuts. Other stand-out flavors include extra fondente (very dark chocolate), pistachio, and the fondente mixed with vanilla (a swirled dark chocolate with vanilla). Their flavor called La Follia, which is full of caramelized figs and almonds, is another great pick. Il Procopio also stocks granita and homemade popsicles.
Always save room for gelato
The gelato in Florence is such an amazing specialty food to taste, though you have to know the right places to go for the perfect scoop. During your visit to this historic, artistic city, you have to stop by these three amazing gelaterias for a scoop of gelato.
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