If there was a day during our trip from Paris-Athens that we didn’t each gelato, it evidently wasn’t worth remembering.
Gelato, sorbet and on one occasion, plain old ice cream, was an essential party of our daily diet because this is what you do when you’re it’s summer, you’re in Europe with your best friend and you’re twenty years old.
Sorbet at Berthillon, Paris
On my third visit to Paris, I finally got my greedy little hands on the city’s most famous sorbet. Berthillon is literally a hole in the wall but it’s easy to find because of the permanent queue snaking around the corner. It’s worth the wait – especially if it’s a sunny day and you can enjoy it sitting on the banks of the Seine.
Abricot sorbet in Square Agricol Peridguier, Avignon
I ate a disturbing amount of gelato on this trip, but it’s the apricot gelato (or sorbet?) that I had in Avignon that still haunts my dreams.
In the historic centre is a leafy little park, pompously named Square Agricol Perdiguier. The gardens are very pretty and are fairly typical of France: There are a couple of churches, one of which is in ruins, lots of leafy trees, giant pot plants overflowing with flowers and mythical free wi-fi that will never work, no matter how many times you swear at your phone.
It was also home to a humble looking refreshment stand, which serves up everything that is good about summer, in a single scoop. This apricot gelato is in the top five best things I have ever eaten. Yes. That good.
Ice cream by the beach in Nice
I love Nice, but I have never loved the food there. This gelateria was a notable exception but unfortunately, I don’t remember its name. It was in the old town, not far from the beach.
Commiseratory ice cream in Cannes
We were meant to get a ferry from Cannes to St Tropez, but couldn’t find the ferry stop (if it’s really obviously located, I don’t want to know) and as a result, did not make it to St Tropez that day.
Cannes’ beach is not very nice, so rather than spend the day there we decided to head back to Nice. Before we left, I bought a strawberry ice cream for an ice cream cart by the beach – now the trip wasn’t a complete waste!
An expensive scoop in Monaco
I can’t remember much about the ice cream I had in Monaco, other than that I definitely had some and that it wasn’t hard to find. Good luck!
PS – It will be the most expensive scoop of your life. Even if you’re Australian, Swiss or Norwegian and are used to extortionate food pricing.
A restorative gelato in Vernazza, Cinque Terre
After yet another pastry-heavy breakfast, my stomach gave me a swift kick in the guts (literally). I felt nauseous the entire time I was in Vernazza, UNTIL I had this tummy-saving gelato.
Here I was thinking that my body was giving me signs that I needed to be healthy but really all it wanted was a gelato! If that’s not an indication that I need to gobble up gelato on the daily, I don’t know what is. Within minutes of eating it, I was cured! I found this hole in the wall gelato shop on the street leading to the train station, which is perfectly located for eating gelato on your way in and out of Vernazza.
A reward at the top of the hill in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre
Keep walking up, up, up Riomaggiore’s steep main street and you’ll be rewarded with gelato near the end. Mango and strawberry goes down a treat on a hot summer’s day.
Ice cream all over my dress in Monterosso, Cinque Terre
I can’t remember where we got the gelato from, as there are many stands along the main street along the beach. We went to a few before Chloe found one which had mint choc chip – her flavour obsession of the trip. I do remember that she spilt her ice cream on my new dress while I was swimming in the ocean. Only your best friend can get away with this!
Gelato heaven in Florence
Florence is a gelato gold mine. On every corner, there is yet another gelato shop. We sampled many of the city’s offerings, all in the name of research. Luckily, most gelaterias line their cabinets with fresh fruit cups in summer, which saved me from having gelato for breakfast on more than one occasion.
Edouardo il Gelato Biologico, Florence
The strangest flavour of the trip was also one of the best. Edouardo il Gelato Biologico is an organic gelateria which takes it’s gelato seriously. Despite being in the most touristy location in Florence, right under the Duomo, it’s not your usual touristy crap. One giveaway is that they keep their gelato super fresh, under metal lids. Showy lashings of gelato speckled with fresh fruit looks the most appealing, but gelato tastes best when it’s stored under wraps. The other giveaway, of course, is that it was the best gelato we had in Italy! It was also the strangest flavour of the trip – I had plum on top and egg white & white wine on the bottom. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
Silver screen San Crispino in Rome
Thanks to some big screen action in Eat, Pray, Love, San Crispino constantly has a queue out the door. Luckily, the line moves quickly because you don’t dare mess around with the brusque gelatiers (If I didn’t invent this word, don’t ruin the illusion) behind the counter. According to locals, the movie may have made it famous, but it’s had a reputation as Rome‘s best gelateria for years. I had the chocolate meringue, one of their most popular flavours, and can confirm that it lives up to the hype.
Unfortunately, I ate it too fast to take a photo – a testament to its deliciousness?
Buonocore Gelateria, Capri
Now that’s one good lookin’ gelato. Little did I know at the time, Buonocore Gelateria is regarded as having the best gelato in Capri. If Capri does have better gelato, I’ll take a tonne of it. Sweet, summery and just a little bit zingy, this raspberry gelato was worth nearly dying as I ran down the million steps to the port, in slippery sandals, after missing the last funicular of the day back down the mountain. Plus, the exercise it caused cancels out the gelato! I should have got two scoops.
The Ice Cream Shop in Athens
The bright pink tables at The Ice Cream Shop make it impossible to miss! It’s conveniently located in Monastiraki Square, so you can get your sugar fix with a view of the acropolis, after a morning of shopping at the adjoining Athens Flea Market. As the name suggests, it’s not gelato, but it’s still pretty bloody good – as you can see, I was halfway through before I stopped to come up for air/ take a photo.
Where have you had the best gelato?