Ellen Miller
Ellen Miller

If you have a sweet tooth you might have been sad when the chocolate festival dissembled its tents in Santa Maria Novella.
This April, though, something even better is coming: the annual gelato festival.
Though the festival’s official website has yet to be updated, last year’s edition occurred in May so details should be forthcoming shortly.
Florence is an appropriate place for a gelato festival, being that gelato creator Bernardo Buontalenti was born here in 1536.
Buontalenti modified the original frozen treat into the gelato we know today and served it to the Medici family, who passed it on to France where the treat began to grow in popularity.
To this day many Florentine gelato shops serve a flavor called Buontalenti, which is a simple custard.
Gelato began to grow in general popularity and commonality with the creation of a gelato cart which sold the tasty treat to Italians on the street.
Gelato is different from the American ice cream in two major ways.
First, it has about half the fat content of American ice cream.
Second, and perhaps more important, is that gelato is churned differently from ice cream and therefore has less air added to it.
It is also not frozen as hard as ice cream and even when placed in the freezer does not reach as hard a consistency.
Either is delicious, but in Italy it is gelato that reigns supreme.
The gelato festival consists of both vendors and events, and last year ran for a week.
Want to check out multiple flavors or vendors? You are in luck! The festival sells a tasting card that allows you five tastes throughout the festival grounds, making it the perfect time to try out that unique (and slightly weird) flavor you have been wondering about! For those who are lovers of gelato, this week is one not to be missed.

Festival del Gelato 2014