I’ve been a lucky girl the last few years to attend the Bologna Book Fair for work. The university town is famous for its food and its gelato in particular is drool-worthy. I always make time before or after the day’s work to get a scoop or two or three so here are the shops I’ve been to that I’ve enjoyed.
My favorite shop out of all the shops I’ve been to in Bologna is Cremeria Funivia. According to their website, they have two locations – one on Via Porrettana and one in Piazza Cavour. I have gone to the one in the Piazza Cavour because it’s very close to my hotel. How so convenient! There is always a line but this deliciousness is definitely worth the wait.
Their special flavors include amaretto or marscapone and classic flavors like coffee, chocolate chip, and hazelnut are also on the menu. On my last day in Bologna, I decided to go big or go home and got three flavors – pistachio (my favorite), stracciatella, and their special flavor called Alice which is marscapone with chocolate at the bottom of the cone. This was the best reward after a week of work! There is a small garden with benches across from the shop so you can sit down and enjoy your cup or cone.
La Sorbetteria Castiglione
I think La Sorbetteria Castiglione is considered the best in town but I guess it depends on who you ask. I remember going here with my co-worker who had been in Italy for a week without tasting gelato. Appalling! We walked for 10 minutes or so down Via Castiglione wondering if we were ever going to find this shop but we did and it was heaven in our mouths. My co-worker was kicking herself wondering why she had waited this long for true Italian gelato.
What’s pretty amazing about this shop is they use quality, organic ingredients so no glucose, vegetable fats, GMOs or gluten. They still manage to make great-tasting ice cream for everyone no matter their dietary restrictions. La Sorbetteria Castiglione also make sorbets and cakes and have a chocolate shop nearby as well. Just make sure you start with the gelato first.
Another long walk down Via San Vitale (Bologna is full of long streets to stroll along) with more co-workers in tow brought us to Il Gelatauro. I wouldn’t have known about this shop had it not been for a gelato shop that recently opened up near my office here in San Francisco. The owners of Coletta Gelato studied at Carpigiani Gelato University (yes, it’s a real thing) which is in Bologna and so when I went in for an afternoon treat I asked them where I should go on my upcoming trip and Il Gelatauro was on the list.
The shop has received many accolades like “the best gelato in Europe” and “30 things to eat before you die” and for good reason. Like La Sorbetteria Castiglione, Il Gelatauro uses quality ingredients and also seasonal fruit in their sorbet so you’ll find flavors like prickly pear and persimmon, the latter a flavor I would gladly travel back in the fall for. They also give you free gelato on your birthday so I would go back in the summer for that. Basically, I would visit them every season.
You would think they only do gelato well but they also serve espresso, baked goods, and chocolates. As I was on a pistachio gelato binge that week, I snatched up some pistachio chocolate which was the perfect snack on my train ride from Bologna to Rome later that week.
And a few more
Need even more recommendations? The owners at Coletta Gelato also recommend Galliera 49 which I also tried and loved (sorry I don’t have a picture but I forgot to take one because I ate my scoops so fast). It’s a tiny shop front off the main shopping street Via Indipendenza. Be prepared to wait in line like at Cremeria Funivia but what’s different about them is that they serve Granita (in addition to creamy gelato) which according to their website is “a typical ice dessert from Sicily. It’s a semi-frozen liquid served in a glass, made with fresh fruit or other ingredients, purified Grander water, and organic fair trade cane sugar.”
Lola Akinmade also recommends Gelateria Stefino and Cremeria Santo Stefano which are on my list and will make sure to try on my next visit. I hope that you get to try these shops if you ever find yourself in this beautiful town and enjoy the flavors as much as I do.
Do you have any gelato recommendations in Bologna? Let me know in the comments!