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Alida Gualtieri

Gelato in Florence

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Hi. I need some recomendations for some great gelato places in Florence in July-where they serve the artisinal types-none of that flavour that comes from powders etc. Some great bakeries where one can get some sandwiches , cheese and pastries for an alfresco lunch would also be helpful.

Thx for your suggestions

Alida


Edited by Alida Gualtieri (log)

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I had gelato twice in Florence recently, at Vivoli and Carabe. Both were great, and I discovered my new favorite flavor: fiordilatte. It's equivalent to sweet cream, and is simply delicious.

I also had a fantastic sandwich from a bakery/pasticceria on via Pisana, across from Una Hotel Vittoria. It was bresaola, arugula, brie and tomato on an incredible wholemeal roll, for 2 euro. I was sorry that I hadn't tried two or three other varieties, as they all looked great. That part of San Frediano has a real neighborhood feel, and the place was crowded at noon with people buying sandwiches and snacks. The macaroons looked wonderful.

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Vestri, chocolate shop that also does superb gelato. Beats Vivoli and Neri for texture and flavour, although the range is much smaller. Which is a good sign. And the stuff is actually kept buried in the chiller. Which is another good sign.

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I had gelato twice in Florence recently, at Vivoli and  Carabe. Both were great, and I discovered my new favorite flavor: fiordilatte. It's equivalent to sweet cream, and is simply delicious.

...

We found Carabe early on in our trip and then ended up going there 7 or 8 times during our 10 day visit! Their sorbettos/granitas were also very good, and I too fell in love with the fior de latte flavor... Also remember some other wonderful gelati flavors: apple, canteloupe, almond and walnut.

The other place I remember being recommended but to which we never got is "Perche Non". Maybe someone else will have comments on this place.


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I had printed out the free scoop coupons from the Carabe website and navigated us right to the shop on our way to the Accademia for our afternoon reservation. My friends were wuite happy that I'm so thorough in my research and handy with maps.

We spent the next week biking along the Tuscan Coast and had gelato almost every day. The best place, outside of Florence, was Paradise Gelateria in Castiglione della Pescaia. I thought it was the best of the trip.


Edited by bushey (log)

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I second and third CArabe, Vestri and perche non..and now GROM,on via delle Oche and Via del Campanile, more in my site.. in the newsletter section there is an article on Gelato in Florence...

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Vivoli is wonderful. Not overly impressed with Perche Non - it seemed a little too shiny, if you know what I mean. But then I may be judging it unfairly.

Just for your info: one reliable barometer of a gelateria is the pistachio gelato. Bright green colour indicates artificial colour - and if they've added food colouring to their gelato, who knows what else they've added. True pistachio should be a fairly muted greenish tan. We taste tested all over Italy and found this to be a pretty good way of choosing a gelato place.

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Ditto for mint flavors -- anything remotely green gets my thumbs down.

Yesterday we happened to be in NYC and stopped by Cones for some gelato and sorbet. It was really, really good (I had the pear and ginger sorbets) but in my mind I kept thinking "This is nowhere near as good as in Italy"...............

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Ditto for mint flavors -- anything remotely green gets my thumbs down.

Yesterday we happened to be in NYC and stopped by Cones for some gelato and sorbet.  It was really, really good (I had the pear and ginger sorbets) but in my mind I kept thinking "This is nowhere near as good as in Italy"...............

Grazie mille for all the wonderful suggestions-this is really helpful.

Ciao!

Alida

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the pistacchio at Carabe and Grom are both pure pistacchio from Bronte , Sicily!!!

I have a small dining guide on my site and also a newsletter edition on gelato in florence. link in my signature!

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I cannot assure the quality of this place, but I do know it's extremly expensive due to location. We found one of the places right at the Ponte Vecchio (on the more touristy side, on the corner to the right coming off the bridge) that had the most amazing thing-- a semi-freddo mousse concotion. Again, not sure about the gelato, but the frozen mousse stuff was unreal.

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I just returned from Firenze and I had a very hard time finding ANY gelato that wasn't awesome. Have fun!


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

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Caffe Fiorenzi (sp?), near the Duomo, is excellent - we frequented this place much more than Vivoli. Everything there is great, but the "cookies" flavor is not to be missed.

Funny, we did the pistachio test ourselves, as well! If it was an unnatural shade of green, run; if it was slightly greyish, it was great. We ate gelato three times a day in Florence - and we were there in December!

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Just back from Tuscany and Vivoli was excellent - my wife had melon and watermelon - the differences between the two were deliciously apparent.

Another great gelato place in Castellina-in-Chianti - Antica something or other, sorry can't remember the full name. Just ask any local!


Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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Our favourite in Florence (based on two weeks of solid research) was Neri, on the street of the same name curving away from the Piazza della Signoria to the southwest. Carabe does some flavours superbly (mostly the ones that rely on ingredients imported from Sicily) and others not so well. (I'm sorry, divina, this year we only had a few hours in Florence before catching a train, and I wasn't going to take a chance on the new Grom and miss Neri.)

The place in Castellina-in-Chianti is called Antica Gelateria, just outside the pedestrian zone to the north (across the main highway). It's good, but the Gelateria di Piazza in San Gimignano (in the most touristed location possible, right in the central piazza) is better. --PR

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I thought Vivoli was the best of the best. The dark chocolate with orange liquor was phenomenal! I also have to mention that I ate the BEST frozen yogurt I have ever had in my life. It was from this weird probiotic place that toutes the benefits of probiotics. I was just three blocks from the duomo. It was amazing. :wub:


" You soo tall, but you so skinny. I like you, you come home with me, I feed you!"- random japanese food worker.

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Just reconfirming Vivoli...which is just off the piazza of santa croce. If you are standing facing the church it is behind you in an allyway running parallel to the via benci. Try the RISO. I ate at Vivoli for four months almost every evening after dinner, my five other roomates and I would troop down there even if it was freezing cold. Never had anything better than the RISO!

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We didn't get a chance to do a lot of tasting. This this is nothing near an absolute opinion, but the pistachio at Carabe in Florence was the best gelato I had in Italy. Pistachio became my test flavor for comparison. We had some other good gelato in Padua and Florence and some very inferior stuff all around. Artisanal on the sign doesn't always mean quality. We didn't get to try many places in Florence.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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The best gelato I've had in Florence was the Chocolate Mousse gelato at Veneta in Piazza Beccaria. I discovered it because I lived around that area when I was studying Italian. The walk from the Duomo to Piazza Beccaria is full of interesting, tiny food shops and clothing and kitchen boutiques that cater to locals primarily rather than tourists (of which there are relatively few because it's off the beaten track - there are no tourist sights in that direction).

Vivoli was more expensive and nothing special, I felt, certainly nothing proportional to the raves in the write ups in the tourist guides.

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Regarding Vivoli's, the gelateria gained its stellar reputation way back when there was little competition.

Now in the <<citta degli stranieri>> (city of foreigners), tourists have more to choose from before they wind their way through those hideous bleachers set up in formerly beautiful piazze* for the annual summer festival, or stroll past Footlocker and the Disney Store on their way back to the hotel, cup or cone in one hand, little plastic shovel in the other.

As fabulous as these other places happily prove to be, I must say the pear gelato at Vivoli's remains one of my favorites.

*squares


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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. . . .

Now in the <<citta degli stranieri>> (city of foreigners), tourists have more to choose from before they wind their way through those hideous bleachers set up in formerly beautiful piazze* for the annual summer festival, or stroll past Footlocker and the Disney Store on their way back to the hotel, cup or cone in one hand, little plastic shovel in the other. 

. . . .

My first visit to Florence was as a student in the summer of 1959 or so. I was back with Mrs. B on a delayed, but extended honeymoon in the fall of 1964. We were back again in the early nineties in prime time--Easter week, but nothing prepared me for the hordes that tour Italy today. Well, almost nothing. I've seen the changes in France and Spain over the years. Those parts of the world that have something great and unique to offer are slowly becoming their own kind of Disneyland. Even in Italy, one of countries where the base level of food has always been so high, I'm seeing a degradation in the ordinary food. I don't know that we can blame it all on the tourists, but it seems to go hand in hand. At the same time Pontormo is correct in that if there's more mediocre and worse gelato around, the best keeps on improving. The secret seems to be to research your prey and learn what to look for when you don't have a good recommendation on what or where to eat.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I second and third CArabe, Vestri and perche non..and now GROM,on via delle Oche and Via del Campanile, more in my site.. in the newsletter section there is an article on Gelato in Florence...

Is it the same GROM as the one in Torino? Is it a chain?

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It was in 2002 at, I believe, Vivoli. My wife watched to locals come in and go to the bar. She said "you have to try that" It was "scremi con caffè" or something like that. Well anyway it was a cup of plain cream gelato with a shot of hot expresso poured into the middle. I go with the locals - we ordered two --- Unbelievable.


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