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A CAPA Student's Guide to the Best Gelato in Florence

Nov 3, 2021 10:14:00 AM / by Alexis Miller

Are you a dessert connoisseur with a taste for gelatos? Then this guide is for you! Alexis shares the top places around Florence to get finest and freshest gelatos. If you've ever been curious on how to select the best gelato and sample various natural flavors, then check out this post for tips.

Pasta, pizza, and gelato—the best trio in Italian cuisine. My craving for gelato has led me to search for (and find) the best gelaterias in Florence. 

My classmates and I went on a CAPA-led gelato tour around Florence and learned a few interesting facts. We learned the way to spot the best gelato: look at the tins the gelatos are held in. Valentina, our gelato guide, told us that if you see gelato stored in metal tins covered with lids, it is a key indicator that the gelato is fresh. You want to avoid brightly colored gelato that is piled high like mountains, and instead look for natural colored gelato stored in smaller quantities.

Gelato at the Duomo

Caption: The most picturesque photo of all time.

Our first stop on this gelato tour was at Gelateria Edoardo. This gelateria is right in front of the Duomo, which makes it a perfect spot for a picture! Bonus points for that! However, my favorite part about this gelateria is how it was the first organic gelateria in Tuscany. Anyone that knows me knows that I am very big on eating clean and organic food. A lot of their flavors vary based on the seasons due to the freshness of the ingredients. In the beginning of the semester, I would often order the lavender and honey gelato, but that is no longer available. The lavender and honey flavor was like no other! With the fall season here, it was only proper for me to get the apple and cinnamon flavor on my visit. For some reason this flavor was called the Ed Sheeran; interesting fact to say the least! I knew this gelato was going to be good as soon as I saw the fresh pieces of apple. It was like heaven in a cone! Did I mention that they make their cones in house? Even though eating near major tourist spots is a major no no, Edoardo is the only exception!

The "Ed Sheeran" gelato - an apple and cinnamon-flavored gelato from Edoardo

Caption: The “Ed Sheeran” at Edoardo’s.

Next stop on our gelato tour was at La Carraia. One of the reasons that this gelatiera is my favorite is because of the location. It is located between the Santa Croce Church and the Arno River, and it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. I am a simple girl when it comes to flavors. Don't get me wrong, I like to be adventurous at times and try new flavors, but mango gelato will always be my go to flavor. At La Carraia, word of mouth is that the rice pudding gelato is the best! My initial reaction when I heard this was ew! Rice pudding flavor, really? But after trying the rice pudding gelato I understood what all the hype was about. It was amazing! It tasted like sweet vanilla with the texture of the rice! Now every time I go to the La Carraia, I get the rice pudding flavor. It's slowly becoming my new mango!

Rice Pudding Gelato at La Carria

Caption: Rice Pudding Gelato at La Carria.

The last and final stop on our gelato tour was at Vivoli! Vivoli is located right around the corner from the CAPA Florence Center. You can already bet I treat myself to a gelato after every exam. Vivoli is a lot of CAPA students’ favorite gelateria, especially my roommate Taylor’s. The shop has a homey and cozy atmosphere where locals go. When I went in for the first time, I was overwhelmed with all the delicious choices, so I ended up getting two flavors. I got the fantasia, which is vanilla with chocolate and cherries, and the rice pudding (it is really growing on me). I can see why Taylor calls this her favorite gelateria. The flavors are just amazing and so tasty. It is a local stop so being there made me feel like a true local.

Fantasia and Rice Pudding Gelato at Vivoli

Caption: Fantasia and Rice Pudding Gelato at Vivoli.

As my study abroad journey continues over the next two months, my list of gelaterias will only grow and so will my love for rice pudding gelato!

Thanks, Alexis!

Alexis Miller

Alexis Miller is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2021, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A marketing major from Ursinus College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

Alexis' journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: Florence, Italy, Local Culture