OK, after breakfast being the most important part of your eating in Italy comes Gelato. Truly, you only need to survive on gelato in Italy. There's nothing like it anywhere else in the world. It's ice cream, only better. There's a variety of flavors that you aren't likely to find even at Baskin Robbins.
Paul says when you get to a new location, you are supposed to send an individual to scout out the lemon flavors at every shop. Lemon is a great test. If it's good, generally the rest of the gelato is also good. But we did have one occasion where the lemon wasn't so good, but the rest of the flavors we had were fine.
This time we had lots of dark chocolate gelato. I believe occasionally there was also an extra dark. I had mint once (Giolitti, Rome) that was white, meaning without the green food coloring, and had flecks of mint leaves. Very strong, but very amazing. And of course, there were a number of fruit-flavors that caught our attention. My mother swooned over every coconut she could fine. I graduated from my very traditional raspberry to pineapple whenever I could get it. And was swooning myself over the blood orange flavor at Palazzo del Freddo Fassi in Rome.
Now do you understand why you can live on gelato and be perfectly happy?
The Best of Gelato in Italy
In no particular order.
- Cheapest: Gelateria La Carraia; €1 for two scoops Florence
- Best Waffle Cone: Grom, a chain in Milan and Venice, even Paris (they also tell you what flavors are gluten-free)
- Most Unusual Flavor: l'angelo del gelato, Stresa; The flavor: Violet
- Most Selection: highly likely the favored Giolitti, Rome
- New Serving Suggestion: Nico, Venice; Chocolate gelato frozen solid, cut with a sharp knife, and loaded in whipped cream
- Best Gelato: ___________ I'm sorry to say we haven't decided.
There were so many special experiences. To quote Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday "Each in its own way. . ." And indeed, each city is part of the gelato experience. And what better way to remember!