When I think of Italy and food, three items instantly come to mind: pizza, pasta, and gelato; sorry for the stereotype. Creamy Italian ice cream is happily consumed all year round, especially in major cities like Florence, whether it’s winter or summer.

Florence is booming with gelato shops serving seasonal flavors. Do you want to try chestnut cream and pumpkin in winter or watermelon or passionfruit in summer? You could easily sample a different type on each day of your vacation if you tried!

I’ve written this article to show you where to find the best gelato in Florence. You’ll discover the top parlors serving incredible flavors (including Nutella) with fresh ingredients and an unbeatable atmosphere. Let’s help you get your next scoop.

Florence Gelato Nardia Plumridge
Oh yes, we do love gelato… (Photo credit: Nardia Plumridge)

Gelateria La Carraia

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I’m going to start off strong with this list of great gelato shops in Florence with the trendy Gelateria La Carraia in the Piazza Nazario Sauro. Two twin brothers Massimo and Roberto opened this Gelateria’s doors in 1990, and it has fastly become a favorite with both locals and travelers alike.

All of their artisanal ice cream is made daily onsite, including delicious flavors like stracciatella and After Eight mint. The interiors here blew me away; from the outside, it’s an old stone building, but the inside is decorated in light green palettes, giving it some real character.

I was amazed to see how big the portions were when I first tried this place. I went for the in-house favorite, white chocolate with pistachio sauce; there was so much in it that the cream started leaking over the edge as soon as they handed it to me.

With each lick came the strong vanilla extracts from the white chocolate, some nutty notes, and a light, earthy aftertaste from the pistachio sauce. While I was unsure how the sweetness and saltiness of the two ice creams would work together, I was quite impressed.

My order came in a little white and green branded cup; however, the male staff member at the till offered me a sugar-glazed cone for an additional fee. I politely refused as I was craving ice cream on its own.

Gelateria La Carraia (€)Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25/r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy – Monday to Thursday, 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Friday to Sunday, 11:00 am to 10:30 pm

Florence Gelato by Sophie Delauw - Nardia eating gelato in Piazza Santa Croce near Carraia
Eating gelato in Piazza Santa Croce near Carraia. (Photo credit: Sophie Delauw)

Antica Gelateria Fiorentina

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I’ve got a soft spot for quaint little hole-in-the-wall ice cream shops, and Antica Gelateria Fiorentina is just that. It’s cute and always has a good crowd no matter what time of the day it is, and the staff are great with their recommendations.

Famed for its seriously cheap scoops and diverse mouthwatering gelato flavors like crunchy stracciatella (chocolate chip) and fregola (strawberry), gelato lovers won’t want to miss this spot in the picturesque Via Faenza district.

I’ve been coming here for years, particularly for their dairy-free specialties, including the dark chocolate option. I tried it on my last visit; it had quite an intense bitter taste with a little hint of sweetness and a high density. I’d say they used some vegan sweeteners with the mix.

The portion sizes here are the average sizes. They have four options available. I ordered the second option, which was enough for me after a heavy meal. Mine came with a little spoon, and the woman working there offered me an extra in case I wanted to share it with someone.

If you’re lucky enough to come to Antica Gelateria Fiorentina when it’s not busy, you can try to snag one of the wooden benches out front, which provides incredible street views. However, when the line is big, you might feel kind of trampled by all the people surrounding you.

Antica Gelateria Fiorentina (€)Via Faenza, 2a, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy – Monday to Saturday, 12:30 pm to 9:00 pm, closed on Sunday

Gelateria Edoardo

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If you want to try some high-quality gelato or sorbet, make your way over to Gelateria Edoardo opposite Florence’s imposing historic Duomo. Since it’s close to one of the city’s main highlights, it does get busy, but the line moves fairly quickly.

I read a lot about Gelateria Edoardo online a few years back because it was the first organic Gelateria in the region of Tuscany. When I eventually tried it out, It was the smell of the freshly baked waffle cones that first hit my senses.

Their range of artisanal Florentine gelato recipes is unbeatable, including some vegan options, and the Il Gianduia secondo Edoardo, a hazelnut chocolate flavor, and ricotta with kiwi. When I saw them all lined up in steel tubs, I was so torn on deciding which one I wanted; the sweet peach was my choice in the end.

One of the main reasons I ordered the sweet peach was that the skins were used in the mix to maximize the seasonal fruit flavor. The crema was served circle-shaped in a cone, and the cone was placed in a quarter cover, which sat at the end of it.

There was a light tanginess with a soft creaminess from the mix; there was a sugary side to it, which was balanced out nicely with a layer of tartness. It complemented the buttery crunchiness of the waffle cone perfectly.

Gelateria Edoardo (€)Piazza del Duomo, 45/R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy – Open hours unavailable as the establishment is closed until February 14th

La Strega Nocciola Gelateria Artigianale

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One of my favorite gelato shops in Florence is La Strega Nocciola Gelateria Artigianale. It has been open since 2004, and the owners have still been using the same recipe to this day.

Until last year, I never heard of La Strega Nocciola Gelateria Artigianale, but the long line out front on one of my most recent trips to the Tuscan capital made me curious. You wouldn’t even know it existed unless you were looking for it; it’s in a pretty basic building.

I immediately fell in love with the place as I entered; the staff was so bubbly and full of smiles, and the wooden brick wall designs were truly impressive; they gave the building a proper homey vibe and made it welcoming.

The cones here were skinnier than most gelato places I’ve been to, but they go top-heavy on the good stuff. I hadn’t had mascarpone ice cream in ages, and they had it when I was here. I asked the female employee how good it was, and she said it was the best she’d had.

My first thought was that the flavor was very rich, which is expected because of all of the butterfat in the mascarpone. It had some sugary notes but nothing too strong, and I could get a hint of tanginess from it, too.

La Strega Nocciola Gelateria Artigianale (€)Via Ricasoli, 16R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy – Sunday to Wednesday, 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and Thursday to Saturday, 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani

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I’ve never seen a gelateria as extravagant as Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani. It’s massive; the freezers go on and on, and they must spread across at least a couple of hundred meters. It’s ultra fancy, too; between the refined interiors and wooden designs, you’d mistake it for a hotel.

I’m still amazed that Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani has been open since 1932; it’s incredibly famous around Florence; my Tuscan friends pushed me to go for months until I eventually bit the bullet recently. I was used to hearing places that had good gelato, but this one sounded special.

Like a lot of gelato shops in Florence, their recipe has remained the same, using only simple natural ingredients such as sugar, eggs, cream, and milk. I still can’t get my head around how such a simple recipe can taste so good.

With so many options to choose from on my visit to Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani, I ended up getting a two-scoop cone. I could never turn down the chance of having a classic vanilla and chocolate combination in one serving.

When the cone was handed to me, I was immediately taken aback by how long it was. I wasn’t complaining; it was perfect for when all the ice cream dripped to the bottom of it, making the last few bites a pure explosion of cream.

The mix between the chocolate and the vanilla gelato was luscious and sweet; it actually had some light caramel undertones, which I liked. I will say that two scoops were more than enough, though that much sweetness can take its toll.

Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani (€)Viale dei Mille, 20/r, 50131 Firenze FI, Italy – Every day, 7:00 am to 12:00 am

Conclusion

As our guide to the best gelato shops in Florence comes to a close, hopefully, you’ve found somewhere to have your next scoop.

If you’d like to discover even more parlors in the Tuscan capital, along with some secret foodie hideouts with one of our local guides, book one of our Florence food tours.

 

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