On a later trip, however, I noticed that the ice cream was not quite as good as remembered... I soon learned that not all gelato's are equal, and it's worth a bit of bother to find the best type.
Basically, you want to see these words in the sign for the gelateria (ice cream shop):
- artiginale (artisinal, i.e. handcrafted, made in small batches); or
- fatto en casa (homemade, literally "made in the home" or house)
Read more tips about buying ice cream at About.com's Italy Travel site. Another tip: look for ice cream in metal tubs (though mass producers now use these too.)
It may seem silly to be so picky about ice cream, but if you've had the real artiginale type, you won't want anything less. The fruit selections burst with flavor (-lemon is a favorite), and the variety of other choices on display will have you gazing for long minutes trying to decide.
Certain of my family members remain loyal to chocolate, which deserves a special note as this is not a simple matter of cioccalato. You might also like:
- bacio - chocolate hazelnut
- cioccolato fondente extra noir- extra dark chocolate
- cioccolato con peperoncini-- with pepper
- pistacchio - pistachio
- nocciola - hazelnut
- castagna - chestnut
- mandorla - almond
Read many detailed tips about choosing the best ice cream in Italy, and more about flavors and how to pronounce the different names.