Gelato.  The very word puts joy in my soul!  The thought of lush, bright fruit flavors, deep chocolate and vibrant nuts is enough to make a girl pack a bag in a jiffy to catch a plane to bella Italy…..stat!

While traveling, my favorite question to ask taxi drivers, hoteliers, bellmen and passersby is, “Dove il bello gelato?”  Everyone in Italy seems to have an opinion and I am happy to test them all!!

The Man and I had an appointment at the Four Seasons Florence for a site inspection and dinner (more on our amazing anniversary dinner in a separate blog).  I asked Lars, the wonderfully knowledgeable hotel sales manager, about the best gelato in Florence.  His eyes lit up and a smile spread across his face—Lars was the resident gelato expert—he loved gelato of all kinds—he was my soul brother!!!

Lars gave us a list of his favorite gelaterias near the Four Seasons hotel and marked them on a map to assist us in our quest for the best gelato in Florence.    To me, the fun in acquiring information is sharing that information with  other travelers so I have decided to share his list.  Lars’ Best Florentine Gelato:

(1) Carapina – the first one on his list – the first to come to mind!  Simon Bonini’s use of fresh, seasonal and innovative ingredients put him on the top of the “Must Visit” gelateria list. Check it out at Via Lambertesca, 18r. 

(2) Gelateria Dei Neri Vibrant Flavors – amazing gelato! Via dei Neri, 20/22.

(3) Vestry – THE best chocolate gelato in Florence – The Vestry family’s chocolate shop offers a wide variety of artisan chocolate as well as outstanding gelato. Borgo degli Albizi, 11. 

(4) Venchi –  Fresh, artisanal gelato – seasonal gelato offerings.  High quality chocolate gelato.  They also have a chocolate tasting room.  Although this is an Italian chain, they have kept their food integrity.  Vicolo Calimaruzza 18/Piazza del Mercato Nuovo 6/7

(5) Carraia – Beautiful gelato just across the Arno in Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25r. 

(6) Vivoli  – Florence’s oldest gelateria.  This family has offered Florentines gelato for generations.  Via Dell’Osola della Stinche 7r

Each of these gelaterias offer fresh ingredients and well-crafted gelato.  Next time you are in Florence, stop in, do the comparison and let me know your favorite flavors!