In July and August, I have a gelato every day around 4 pm. It’s that time of the day when the heat builds up to the point where it is hopeless to do anything else. My go-to choice at home is an affogato, an espresso with gelato. A refreshing sugar and caffeine fix
No summer would be complete, or a trip to Italy, without enjoying gelato. Regardless of the season.
Ordering A Gelato In Italy
You’ve decided it’s time for gelato and found a gelateria. Now you need to know how to order. The first thing to do is decide which size of gelato you would like.
Which one? Piccolo, media o grande gelato? A piccolo (small) has two
First, go to the till and pay for the number and size of gelato you want. The person at the till will ask you if you’d like
If there are any options other than regular cones and cups, like waffle cones, point out if you’d like a more expensive version.
Now you’ve paid, go check out the
What Gelato Should I Be Ordering?
My husband always has the same two flavours:
Me? I like to try everything. When I’m hot and exhausted I’ll get lemon (
Gelaterias To Try
A gelateria will be open generally from lunchtime until 11 pm or midnight during the summer. Some are open all year round in the afternoon 6 days a week and with longer hours in the evening and on weekends.
In Perugia? Make sure to find the best gelato at Mastro Cianuri.
If you aren’t sure which gelateria, a safe bet is to find Grom. It’s a chain found all over Italy and reliably good. Bonus? They are all completely gluten-free, even the cones, so if you have an intolerance or are celiac it’s a great choice.
In the summer at the beach, or other outdoor events, there may not be a gelateria so the best option is to head to a bar and find a cornetto (the same word used for croissant in Italian).
Classic Gelato Flavours of Italy
With your receipt in hand, stand in front of the display case. When it’s your turn, they’ll take your receipt and mark it filled. The first thing that the person serving you will need to know is if you want a cup or a cone. Una coppa o un
Gelato Flavours Focusing on Nuts
- Pistacchio In English we use the same word so this one is easy to remember. Good quality will not be bright green but very pale.
- Noci (Walnut) A great
flavouris Noci e Fichi, or walnut and fig.
- Nocciola(Hazelnuts) Always a good choice
- Mandorla(Almonds) normally it is combined with another
flavour. Pinoli(Pine Nuts) There is a gelateria in Perugia that has won awards for their pine nut gelato, I strongly recommend giving it a try.
- Castagna(Chestnuts) Not a flavour you’ll come across very often, it would be in autumn if you did.
Chocolate Gelato Flavours:
- Baci The classic Perugino chocolate flavour. Milk chocolate gelato with hazelnuts.
- Cioccolato fondente Dark Chocolate.
- Gianduja From northern Italy in the Piedmont region, it’s another way of mixing chocolate and hazelnuts together.
- All’arancia With orange.
- Al peperoncino or Messicana(Mexican) There are chilly peppers in the dark chocolate gelato.
- Stracciatella This is fior di latte with lots of pieces of dark chocolate mixed in. Normally they pour the dark chocolate over top of the fior di latte gelato.
Gelato Flavours that are Creams:
- Fior di latte The literal translation would be ‘flowers of milk’ this is a lighter version of a vanilla ice cream
- Crema(Custard or creme pate) Very nice if your second flavour is a fruit.
- Zabaione A boozy crema.
Zambaione, but not as a gelato, is used in deserts and put in espresso. It is a runny custard with Marsala wine added. I recommend trying it in your coffee, traditionally from Naples and further south.
The Fruit Gelato Flavours:
These don’t normally have any egg, milk or cream added, so a good option for allergies or intolerances. Along with coffee gelato, they are the hardest to make. So while amazing at top gelaterias, in the commercial tourist traps I would steer clear:
- Fragola (Strawberry)
- Arancia (Orange) This past summer I had found orange and cinnamon or
- Lampone (raspberry) In most of Italy raspberries don’t grow so this is a flavor geared towards tourists. It is one of the flavours that I miss living here so I chose it frequently. Grom does a great one!
- Frutti del
bosco(fruits of the woods) This is a classic
- Limone (lemon) Best on a hot day.
- Melone (melon)
- L’ananas (pineapple)
- Fico (Fig)
d’india(cactus fruit) You won’t see this very often. They’re in season from late summer to mid November.
- Melograno (pomegranate) I really enjoy this one.
- Pesca (peach)
Others Gelato Flavours:
- Caffe A great way to get your caffeine kick in the afternoon.
- Liquirizia(liquorice) This is one of my favorites, I’m one of those weirdos, the trick is what to have with it.
- Zuppa Inglese A very misleading name, English soup. It is a dessert from the 16th century, perhaps in Ferrara, when a wealthy family tried to have their cooks recreat an English trifle. Sponge cake, custard, a red liqueur and usually chocolate.
- Malaga Rum and Raisin.
- Coco coconut.
Gelato In Italy On A Sunny Day In January
I wouldn’t say no to a gelato any sunny day, even if it is in January. But if it’s rainy I prefer hot chocolate. There’s a gelato flavour for everyone and for any occasion. So become a connoisseur of Italian gelato and make sure to enjoy a gelato every day that you’re in Italy.