By Jurgita Tuzikaite –

When in Florence do as the Florentines do, which is enjoying best ice-cream in the world. Just one taste, is all it takes to comprehend why Italian gelato has a worldwide reputation. It mesmerizes like cold clouds of sweetness, like a colorful dream you wish lasted forever. Gelato was first introduced during the Renaissance period in our very own city of Florence, and the man behind it was Bernardo Buontalenti. He was one of the most important Italian architects and engineers of the sixteenth century who has gifted the humankind with a number of inventions, most importantly, a unique ice-cream refrigeration technique, which made it possible for the aristocracy to enjoy cold desserts during hot summer months.


At that time a creamy and sweet gelato flavor known as the Buontalenti flavor emerged, which could be tasted even today. The real recipe of the Buontalenti can only be found in the elegant Badiani gelateria, which in 1979 rightfully won the best gelato title. Located further away from the city center, near Artemio Franchi Stadium, Badiani is definitely not the touristic spot even though it is one of the largest gelateria in the city. The traditional Gelateria dei Neri is a whale of ice-cream parlors producing nearly 60 incredibly rich and distinctive flavors. A visit to this gelateria which can be found in Via dei Neri between Palazzo Vecchio and Santa Croce square is like a gastronomical adventure.

Gelato Edoardo
However, only in 1930s Florence welcomed its first ice-cream parlors. The legendary Vivoli is known as the oldest one in the city, tucked away in a small piazza S. Simone it maintains old bohemian spirit which translates through decor and authentic gelato recipes. Soon after followed gelateria Perchè no! in Via Tavolini, which offers creamiest tiramisu flavor in town. Also, they are considered to be the trendsetting business producing quite original ice-cream flavors such as lavender, rose or milk with honey and sesame seeds.

While taking pictures in piazza Duomo you might notice the smell of baked waffles which would lead you to the tiny Gelateria Edoardo. There is usually a line outside, but the taste of Cinnamon or Gianduja gelato mounted on a freshly made cone is definitely worth the wait. Another tiny treasure hidden away in a maze of narrow Oltrarno streets is Gelateria della Passera. The owner of this gelateria graduated from a gelato university in Bologna and you can taste the true quality in every scoop. Flavors there are so intense that they create nearly a meditative experience, making you forget the world around, hence, try it at your own risk. There are many more gelateria in Florence that could compete with these glorious seven, but this list is a good guideline on where to start your own hunt for best gelato.