Nothing is more satisfying and refreshing than a cup of fresh gelato while touring the beautiful Italian sites. We had gelato just about twice a day (at least). Here's a compilation of the delightful gelaterias we visited.
Gelateria Stalin (Via Visconti, 24, Vernazza, Cinque Terre)
After ordering your gelato, sit outside around the corner at the benches and tables or head down to the scenic harbor.
Il Gelato di San Crispino (Rome)
Via della Panetteria (near Trevi Fountain)
Some say this is the best gelato in Rome. I ordered half Ginger and Cinammon and then Honey Cream (3 euros for coppetta). Both were very creamy and wonderfully flavorful. They're served in a cup only, no cones. Grab some fine gelato and people watch at the nearby Trevi Fountain.
Old Bridge Gelateria (Rome)
Via dei Bastioni di Michelangelo
Before heading to the Vatican, we stopped for some gelato, because we were expecting to wait a couple of hours in line for the Vatican Museum. For only 2 euros, you can get 3 huge scoops of different flavors. What an amazing deal! Can't miss this gelateria with the long lines. Even nuns frequent here. Some of the flavors shown below are pistachio, coconut, nutella, chocolate, strawberry and lemon. We even got more gelato after we finished touring the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica. (Hint: We went to the Vatican at 12:30pm after the tour groups left, and there were absolutely NO lines!)
Gelateria Centrale (Monterosso, Cinque Terre)
There were quite a few of Gelateria Centrale in Cinque Terre. Two actually in Riomaggiore. We got our staple flavors: strawberry and lemon - a delicious contrast of sweet and tangy.
Gelatissimo - (Florence)
Via di San Giuseppe, 4R
This gelateria was a bit off the beaten track. It was still refreshingly good and smooth, but nothing incredibly special. We got our usual flavors: strawberry and lemon.
Gelateria Carabe (Florence )
Via Ricasoli 60r
Located a block south of the Accademia, we got to try homemade Sicilian gelato with ingredients shipped in from Sicily. We wanted a break from the creamy gelato and ordered the granita (slush-type dessert/drink) which originated from Sicily. Again, we got strawberry and lemon. It was quite refreshing and you can taste the real flavors. It's usually served with a spoon and straw to experience both of the flavors.
Festival del Gelato (Florence)
Via del Corso 75r (just off Via dei Calzaiuoli)
This gelateria can't be missed with the big neon sign and the colorful decor inside. It's just a few steps from the most touristy and busy street of Florence - Via dei Calzaiuoli (it's the long pedestrian street that connects the Duomo with Piazza della Signoria). Strawberry and lemon granita once again. And again, so refreshing.
Via Uffici dei Vicario 40 (Near the Pantheon)
The most popular gelateria in Rome. And the most crowded. Get in line to pay first, receive your ticket, and then go to the gelato counter to order your scoops. It has excellent gelato - creamy and very smooth, but can be pricey. My husband and I usually share, which consequently means we have to compromise. I like chocolate; he likes fruity flavors. So we asked the guy what "fruity" flavor goes with dark chocolate. He scooped for us watermelon with chocolate chips and cantaloupe, topped with whip cream. Strange combination of flavors, but surprisingly, they all went very well together.
La Boutique del Gelato (Venice)
(corner of Salizada San Lio and Calle Paradiso, next to Hotel Bruno)
The only way to know Venice is to just get lost. We weren't looking for La Boutique but stumbled upon it as we were exploring the city. I was so excited because this gelateria is considered the best in Venice. It's recommended by every guidebook there is. (I might add that I spotted at least 10 people a day with the Rick Steves' guidebooks). Anyway, out of all the gelato we had on our trip, no other gelateria is as generous with their scoops as La Boutique (2 euros for 2 ginormous scoops) They were HUGE and I had to quickly eat it before it quickly melted away. Definitely a must visit!
Michielango (Venice, Italy)
Salizada Pio X
This place was not as generous (probably about half the size of La Boutique and was more expensive (2.5 euros for 2 mediocre-sized scoops). I guess the location is convenient though - near the Rialto Bridge. I would pass on this and find La Boutique del Gelato.