It’s among the most foodie-rific cities in the world and arguably the best place to visit for the most authentic and traditional Italian food. Even understandably proud gastronomes from other delicious destinations across Italy concede that, when it comes eating, Bologna is a strong contender for the country’s top choice.
Yes, there’s the tortellini, the mortadella and of course the much loved meat sauce named after the town, but perhaps the tastiest of Bologna’s offerings is its gelato. Compared to eating your typical ice cream, most folks find enjoying gelato to be a creamier, richer and more flavoursome experience.
For such a small city (Bologna’s population is around 350,000 to 400,000) there are a number of amazing gelatorias in Bologna. Narrowing down a list that highlights the best gelato in town is tough, if not impossible. But I’ll give it a lick! Here’s a selection of three top gelato shops in Bologna. All are centrally located and within walking distance of the city’s main attractions and hotels (and indeed of each other!).
Via Porrettana, 158, 40135
Located on the especially attractive (even for Bologna) Piazza Cavour and nearby some of the city’s best upscale shopping, Cremeria Funivia is an excellent spot for an inexpensive indulgence. Top flavours? You’ll find Italian classics such as stracciatella, cassata and marron glace alongside fantastic house specialites like mascarpone with melted chocolate and pine nut cream with toasted pine nuts here. My choice is Funivia’s superb nocciola (hazelnut).
Find out more at cremeriafunivia.com.
Via D’Azeglio, 13, 40010
The main ingredient that goes into Grom’s gelato is a commitment to use only top quality raw materials. Inspired by the Slow Food Movement with a first outlet opening in 2003 in Torino, Grom’s a relative newcomer for Italy. A 21st century beginning doesn’t seem to be holding them back though. Grom now has more than 30 shops across Italy along with outlets in Malibu, New York, Osaka, Tokyo and Paris. Grom’s Bologna location is steps from the Piazza Maggiore and the famous Fountain of Neptune. A gorgeous list of seasonal sorbets (it was Sicilian lemon, fresh pear, Granny Smith apple and grapefruit juice during my last visit back in March) as well as inspired gourmet treats such as caramel with Himalyan pink salt ensure even finicky palates are sated.
Visit grom.it for more information.
La Sorbetteria Castiglione
Via Castiglione, 44, 40124
If I personally had to pick just one place to try gelato while in Bologna (and perhaps actually the whole of Italy), it would probably be La Sorbetteria Castiglione. And I’m not alone in thinking this might be the best example of what gelato’s supposed to look, feel and taste like. For a real eye opener of just how wonderful La Sorbetteria’s treats can be, I can’t recommend the pistachio ice cream enough!
Find out more at lasorbetteria.it.
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Photo: Chris Osburn