Livin' la Dolce Vita -- Florence's 5 Best Gelatos

by Christopher Atwood

Italy is famed for la dolce vita – the sweet life. This phrase means a carefree, plentiful way of livingRelax, sip some wine, and don't stress. It’s why overworked Americans love Italy so much – once there, they’re obliged not to take life too seriously. In Italy, actual desserts – or dolci – play a big role in the sweetness of Italians’ daily life





Gianduja … the sugary list goes on and on.

But, in Italy, one sweet reigns supreme: gelato.


Meaning ‘frozen’ in italiano, gelato has now spread far beyond the Alps – tempting sweet tooths around the globe. Gelato’s origins are a bit murky. Texts as ancient as the Bible mention people eating a mix of snow and milk. Rich Romans once sipped drinks made from honey, fruit and ice. Diners in ancient China enjoyed sweet slushes, chilled by salt-laced snow.

Eventually, in the Middle Ages, the Arabs invented a means of freezing fruit juices – perfecting the first sherbet. During this time, the Arab rulers of Sicily taught Italian locals how to make sorbet out of juice and syrups. But, creamy gelato didn’t gain prominence in Italy until the Renaissance.


In the court of Catherine de’ Medici, a Florentine man won fame for his scrumptious sorbet. Later on, still in Medici Florence, a man by the name of Bernardo Buontalenti would invent a frozen sweet concocted from cream, bergamot and citrus. In 1660, a Sicilian then opened the first gelato-serving café – finally bringing this cooling sweet to the common people.

To this day, Florence abounds with wow-worthy gelato. Discover our top 5 gelato finds in Florence in the fun video below:

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Not only is gelato refreshing on a hot summer’s day, it also has less fat than American ice cream. Gelato gets its indulgent taste because it is served at a higher temperature and has less air in it, tricking your tongue into believing it’s creamier. So, go ahead --- order two scoops. Be sure to share with us on social media your favorite gelato flavor.

We don’t just help you plan a trip. We ensure your clients get a true taste of la dolce vita.

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