Hunting for the Best Ice Cream

The topic for this months’ Travel Blog Mob post is travel ideas that make us smile. While there are many things about travel that give me the grins, there is one constant eurphoria producer — ice cream.

gelato tasting festival florence

In Florence? Gelato tasting May 25-29, 2011!

The irony is I’m not one of of those people that goes crazy for dessert, but I do love the thrill of hunting for incredible artisan ice cream. Moreover, this is a travel activity your kids will enthusiastically join and a way to inspire them to explore a neighborhood with you.

Clearly, I’m not the only one that relates travel to ice cream. In any city, the cult-favorite ice cream shop will have a line out the door with locals and tourists alike. The Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco is a good example of this; day or night, rain or shine — people of all ages and interests travel near and far to experience this treat.

In Italy, experiencing gelato is an essential part of traveling in Italy. A gelato a day keeps the doctor away when we’re in any Italian city.

There is heavy debate about who makes the best of the best. It depends on your priorities. Do you like creamy ice cream or a crisp, ice-focused style? Chocolate or fruit flavors? Is all-organic important? Do you want chunks of something inside or for the ice cream to be smooth and texture-free?

We were just in Florence and stopped by Vivoli, a much-revered gelato producer near Santa Croce. It is indeed amazing — I’m still dreaming about my scoop of pear — but it is not my absolute favorite. Neither is San Crispino near the Trevi Fountain (Via Panetteria,42) in Rome; although it has a passionate following and should be experienced by all … it is still not my absolute favorite.

For me, the ultimate grand prize goes to Amorino. I’ve always had this gelato in Paris and was worried that my favorite gelato maker wasn’t Italian (needless to say, a crime) — but I’m thrilled to report that it looks like they are indeed Italiano.

Amorino doesn’t have a staggering long list of flavors … but what they do have is astoundingly good. Creamy with such powerful flavor you can’t believe it. Bourbon Vanilla, Caffe Puro Brasile, Pistacchio Sublime, Mango Alfonso d’India … Ok, I’ll stop this evil activity, but have a look at their website and you’ll see what I mean.

All I can say is that if you are anywhere near an Amorino shop (there is one in New York!), run don’t walk. Here’s a list of Amorino locations.

What is your favorite ice cream experience? Weigh in!

travel blog mob

More posts from the Travel Blog Mob:

The Vacation Gals: Happy Hawaii Happy Travels

Wanderlust and Lipstick: Best Books on Bhutan

Wandering Educators: Moving Overseas Will Make You Smile

Spot Cool Stuff: The World’s Best Chocolate Shops

Traveling with MJ: Travel Makes Me Smile


  1. It’s been awhile but last time I was in Florence: Gelateria de Neri…superb!

  2. Okay. You’ve done it now. I cannot wait to introduce my kids to the many (emotional) health benefits of gelato. 🙂

  3. I definitely think this is one area where kids can get into the travel experience in a fun way in Italy – if the reward is a cup of gelato, I’m guessing they’ll be willing to learn a few words of Italian so they can order it themselves!

    Here’s a guide to gelato flavors

    And here’s how to order gelato in Italy

    Arm yourselves with a little bit of vocabulary & you’re well on your way to a tasty treat for all ages. 🙂

  4. I LOVE gelato!

    It was a BIG part of all the weight that I put on when I lived in Firenze (Florence)..the other was pasta, of course! I was known to have gelato at least once a day (many times more than once!) When in Rome….or Florence…. 😉

    Here in West Maui a favorite is Ono Gelato Company on Front Street.

    But my absolute favorite cold treat on Maui is shave ice with Roselani Ice cream (a local favorite) on the bottom and then topped with kauai cream from Local Boys Shave Ice.

    It’s SOOOO good and the ice cream and kauai cream are included in the price. It’s right across from our word famous Banyan tree in Lahaina Town.

    Ok, now I need one! What a fun post!

  5. Yay! Ice cream! Who doesn’t love ice cream!?

    Being a staunch Italophile, I’ll always vote for a good gelato over ice cream anyday. My fave flavors would have to be nocciola (hazelnut), pistachio and fragola (stawberry).

    But, you don’t always have to be in Italy to find it.

    If you are in NYC, try Grom

    I’ve also been to Amorino in Paris

    But, I happen to prefer Pozzetto

    And though you probably wouldn’t want to serve this one to the kiddies, when Mom or Dad need a quick pick me up in Rome, try an Espresso Granita con Panna.

    I dare you NOT to smile after eating that one 🙂

  6. Yep gelato is amazing. Frost in Tucson imported a gelato maker from Italy. Lucky us.
    But if you want creamy, rich ice cream, our favorite in the U.S. was Gifford’s in Maine.

  7. Really love the “A gelato a day keeps the doctor away when we’re in any Italian city.” Always looking for an excuse to eat gelato!

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