The Best Gelato in Florence
Looking for the best gelato in Florence? We’re sharing 10 delicious options that are worth adding to your Florence itinerary!
After stuffing our faces with gelato in Rome, we headed to Florence to continue our gelato adventures! We had heard that Florence was one of the best cities for gelato, likely due to its history with the sweet and creamy treat.
While it’s a bit unclear who actually invented gelato, in the late 1500s, Bernardo Buontalenti created the more modern version of gelato to serve during a celebration to welcome the Spanish delegation to Florence. His creation was a huge hit and changed the gelato landscape in Italy forever–so much so that they even named a flavor after him in Florence.
So if you’re heading to Florence soon and are overwhelmed by all of the gelato options, here is our list of the best gelato in Florence, based on our experience and research, to hopefully help you narrow down the options (or at least ensure you’ll pick a delicious spot!)
Disclaimer: we are not Florence locals, so these are our opinions as tourists who only had a limited amount of time to explore the city. But despite our lack of local knowledge, we did a TON of research beforehand and read lots of blogs and reviews to find the best spots. There are endless gelaterias in Florence and it’s impossible to list all of the amazing ones, but you can’t go wrong with any of these!
Looking for Florence gelato recommendations? See our suggestion for the best gelato in Florence!
Check out our detailed Italy guides to make planning your Italy trip much easier!
- 4 Days in the Dolomites
- 1 Day in Venice
- 1 Day in Matera
- 2 Days in Positano
- 3 Days in Rome
- 2 Days in Florence
What’s the difference between gelato and ice cream?
Great question! To be honest, we had no idea before our trip, but after researching, here is what we found out.
- More milk. First off, gelato and ice cream are both made out of cream and milk, but the proportions differ. Ice cream is made with a higher proportion of cream, while gelato is a higher proportion of milk.
- Less fat. Ice cream contains a higher percentage of fat (a minimum of 10%), while gelato is usually around 5-7% fat.
- No eggs. Ice cream typically contains eggs, while gelato usually does not (this can vary), which is a huge win for Kathryn, as she is highly sensitive to eggs.
- Slow churned and higher temps. The process to make the two also differs. Gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, which makes it more dense and has a lower percentage of air, and it is stored at a slightly higher temperature, which makes it even smoother.
We have a hard time deciding which one we love more, so we guess we’ll just need to eat more of both. 😉
How to spot good gelato
While gelato is easy to come by in Italy, not all gelato is created equal. There are sooo many tourist traps around the city that have decent gelato, but definitely not as delicious as other spots in the city. There are a few key things to know and look for when finding high quality gelato. This article is super helpful, but here’s a quick summary below:
- Always get gelato that is in a metal container, not plastic. We didn’t see many plastic to be honest, but we have heard that metal is key. But what’s even better is when they have metal lids covering the gelato, as this means they are controlling the temperature and not trying to lure you in with their gelato’s appearance (which means the flavor speaks for itself!)
- The best gelato will have natural colors. For example, pistachio should be a more muted greenish brown, not a bright neon green.
- It is not a good sign if gelaterias have gelato stacked super high, as high quality gelato would not be able to stay that high without melting.
- Two very classic Italian gelato flavors are pistachio and hazelnut. It’s safe to say all gelato spots will have these, but be careful of places with too crazy of flavors. Creativity isn’t bad at all, and many spots we loved had unique flavors, but if you see a place with bubblegum gelato and other similar types of flavors, it may be a bad sign.
Our 4 must-visit gelaterias
During our 2 days in Florence, we ate gelato 5 times at 4 different gelaterias (we’ll share why one spot got two visits below…the reason may not be what you think). After enjoying gelato in three other cities in Italy, the gelato in Florence definitely ranked as some of the best we had. Below are the 4 spots that we tried, with information about what sights they are nearby, what flavors we loved, and any other important information you need to know. But keep on scrolling to get an additional list of 5 to check out!
1. La Strega Nocciola
La Strega Nocciola was our absolute favorite gelato in Florence and definitely in our top 5 for our entire trip. We went to La Strega Nocciola on our first full day and if we weren’t trying to visit as many spots as possible, we would’ve gone back many more times.
The main reason we loved this gelateria is because of one specific flavor, named after the father of gelato himself: Buontalenti. We hadn’t heard of this flavor before visiting this shop, but after hearing that it has mascarpone in it, we were sold.
The flavor was soooo creamy and delicious, with a nice cheese flavor that tasted like cream cheese frosting! The only negative thing we have to say about this spot is that we went here right after deciding to try a concept called “portion control” haha (we had been eating way too much!) and regret not getting 5 scoops of this flavor or a cone to go with it!
Located near: The location we went to was right by the Duomo, so it’s super convenient to the main sights, but tucked away down a side street and wasn’t busy at all when we went.
Must try flavors: The Buontalenti is a must! But we also loved the nocciola!
2. Gelateria La Carraia
Gelateria La Carraia is the most rated gelateria in Florence on Google and after having it, it’s no surprise why! We tried the white chocolate with pistachio sauce and it was one of the best flavor combinations of the trip.
The white chocolate gelato was good on it’s own, but the pistachio sauce, with chunks of pistachios in it, was out of this world! We are big fans of chunks and texture in our gelato, so this place got big points with us!
Located near: It’s pretty close to Ponte Vecchio and Ponte Santa Trinita, across the river from the main tourist areas in Florence!
Must try flavors: White chocolate with pistachio! We have since learned that this is one flavor they are known for, but we didn’t research much beforehand and are glad that we tried it!
3. Gelateria de Neri
We visited Gelateria dei Neri not once, but twice, in one day. However, it may not be for the reason you think. We listen to a podcast called Extra Pack of Peanuts and the host, who loves ice cream, said this was the best gelato he has ever had. So we were pretty stoked to try this place!
When we entered the first time, we were instantly intrigued by their Caramello flavor, which looked so incredibly smooth. We each got a cone with the Caramello and Adam also got a second flavor that looked similar in texture, but was chocolate.
We also each got a more traditional looking gelato. We took our first lick of the Caramello kind and it was not what we expected. It was unlike anything we had ever had. It wasn’t cold and it was SO rich! Watch our full reaction in this video below.
While it was delicious, neither of us could finish it because it was too rich for us. We would’ve preferred just a little bit on top of the rest of our gelato, not an entire scoop. We felt a little conflicted afterwards and a bit bummed out. 🙁
Since we didn’t think we got the true experience at Gelateria de Neri, we went back later that night! We learned that this Caramello flavor was caramel fudge, not gelato, so we wanted to try all traditional gelatos the second time around. And they were delicious! We highly recommend this spot when you’re in Florence, but maybe stay away from the Caramello. 😉
Located near: It’s right by our favorite sandwich shop of all time, Al Antico Vinao, so it makes for a great post-lunch treat!
Must try flavors: Any flavor that isn’t one of the fudge ones! Unless you love really rich things!
4. Gelateria Santa Trinita
We went to Gelateria Santa Trinita for a late breakfast on our last day (when in Italy!). We got there right when they opened to kick off a back to back gelato adventure and it was a great stop! We had the Buontalenti flavor that we had fallen in love with at La Strega Nocciola and we also got a berries and cream flavor, which was the best combination of fruity and sweet.
However, this spot is known for their black sesame flavor, which is popular in Asian cuisine and a unique flavor that may not be for everyone, but those who love it really love it! One of the best things about this spot though are the portions-the smallest size there is HUGE!
Located near: It’s right along the river next to Ponte Santa Trinita, which not only gives it a nice view, but makes it a quick walk from the main part of Florence!
Must try flavors: We really liked the Buontalenti, but people rave about the black sesame flavor!
5 bonus gelaterias
Since we only had two days in Florence, we unfortunately had less gelato eating opportunities. There were many other spots we had hoped to check out, but after two weeks of non stop eating in Italy, we were pretty stuffed.
So if you have more time in Florence than we did, or you just want more amazing gelaterias to choose from, we highly recommend checking out these 5 gelaterias! Let us know which one is your favorite and we will make sure we try it next time! 🙂
5. Gelateria de’ Medici
Gelateria de’ Medici is said to be one of the best gelaterias in town and is very loved by the locals. In fact, if you go to TripAdvisor, only 70 of the 684+ reviews are in English! We’re kicking ourselves a bit for not going here, so we’re begging you to go for us and try it out. From what we have read, their gelato is extremely high quality and has the perfect texture. They also have beautiful cakes and gelato filled fruits!
Located near: There are two locations, both a little bit out of the main tourist areas, but that’s how you know it’s good!
Must try flavors: We have heard that one of the best flavors to get is the Crema Di Medici!
6. Da Angelo Gelateria
As we mentioned above, the sign of a good gelateria is one that has metal lids over the gelato. And Da Angelo Gelateria meets this criteria! One thing we haven’t focused on too much is service, which really impacts the experience, and we hear that the owners here are so friendly and generous with samples.
Located near: It’s right by the Ponte Vecchio, so we suggest going here and then to Gelateria La Carraia and Gelateria Santa Trinita and have a fun little gelato tour!
Must try flavors: Their matcha tea, honey and cinnamon, and peanut flavors are very loved!
7. Il Procopio
If you love delicious chunks of nuts and other goodies in your gelato, Il Procopio is for you! This spot has a wide variety of flavors, including some special and unique flavors that you can only find there, as well as the classics that are done exceptionally well.
Located near: It’s about a 10 minute walk from the Duomo area, so definitely still close to the action, but a tiny, tiny bit off the beaten path.
Must try flavors: You must try their il Procopio flavor, which is pistachio, hazelnut, and orange peel!
8. Perche no!…
Perche no!… has been around since 1939 and even has its own gelato classes where students can learn the art of making gelato. This will 110% be on our itinerary next time we are in Florence!
Located near: It’s located between the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio, so it’s a great little pit stop as you explore town!
Must try flavors: Try their Fragola (strawberry), Nocciolosa, and coffee crunch!
Last, but not least is Vivoli, one of the most popular gelaterias in Florence. We had heard that some others were even better, so we decided to skip it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing! The process here is a bit different than others. You pay the cashier first and then choose your flavors, which isn’t an easy task, as there are lots to choose from! But don’t get excited about getting a cone…it’s bowls only here!
Located near: It’s located between the Duomo and Basilica di Santa Croce, making it super convenient to many sights!
Must try flavors: Their Rice gelato and Amaretto gelato are said to be very good!
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