Enjoy Gelato? Italian Ice Cream Guide


I love sweets. Italy is more than happy to indulge my need for dolce! Gelato is one of those sweets so freely available here.

Gelato is not exactly ice cream. It is more like ice milk, so I reason that it has to be less fattening!

Gelato shops or Gelaterias are in every community, sometimes it seems on every corner.  Gelato shops are usually open all day, with no riposo time. I can get my fix at 2 PM if I so choose! Italians eat a lot of gelato, so these stores never seem to be empty.

Because there is a gelato store on my path home from my son’s bus stop, I have gotten really good at ordering gelato!

How to Order Gelato

Guidebooks recommend, in Italy, always pay first. (In my small town, I don’t. This is because there is usually only one person working in the store.) If you are in a larger community, make sure you approach the cashier first and pay. You will need to let the cashier know if you want a cup (coppa) or cone (cono) and how many scoops or flavors you would like.

You may have to hand the server your receipt. Then, pick your flavors and tell the server which ones to serve up!

My usual conversation goes like this:

“Un coppa, per favore.” … “One cup, please”

“Vorrei fragoli senza latte.”…”I would like the strawberry sorbet.”

“Un euro dieci.” … “One Euro ten cents”

This is possibly not grammatically correct, but it always works for me!

Gelato Flavor Guide -A short and incomplete list.

  • Cioccolato — Chocolate
  • Fior di Latte — Sweet Cream
  • Stracciatella — Chocolate Chip
  • Bacio — Chocolate Hazelnut
  • Nocciola — Hazelnut
  • Pistacchio — Same as Pistacchio in English
  • Mandorla — Almond
  • Caffe — Coffee, expresso
  • Fragola — Strawberry
  • Limone — Lemon
  • Melone — Melon, can be watermelon or canteloupe
  • Amarreto — Like the liquor Amaretto

There are so many flavors of gelato that it is impossible to list them all. Each shop has different specialties and every day different flavors are available.

I am trying to enjoy them all!


9 Comments on “Enjoy Gelato? Italian Ice Cream Guide”

  1. […] Enjoy Gelato? Italian Ice Cream Guide (pcsitaly.wordpress.com) […]

  2. geriri says:

    I live in Italy, too. Like to try new flavours, but always go back to nocciola/bacio and fondente. Great flavour guide!

  3. […] Enjoy Gelato? Italian Ice Cream Guide (pcsitaly.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Bellisimo, Peg! ((Or would that be “Bellisma”?) Anyway, it rocks. And it makes me hungry. And want to travel. And speak Italian.

  5. Jen W. says:

    It’s been ten years since I’ve been in Italy, and I can still remember how delicious the gelato tasted. I’ve tried to make it home but it’s never the same. Also, I wouldn’t have realized you should pay before you order. Thanks for the tip, and for the helpful flavor guide!

  6. Alana says:

    I posted this on Facebook. I’ve never been to Europe but know many people who have been to Italy. I love gelato. I’ve had it in NYC, in Boston, and here in upstate NY. If I ever make it to Italy I’ll want to make some comparison taste tests.

  7. Gelato is one of the things I love best about Europe — so delicious! The guide to the flavors is helpful.

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