Not everything we do in Florence pertains to our factory or our love of leather products. Fortunately there are many things to love about life in Italy, and Florence in particular. I spent my day off running minor errands, browsing shops, and people watching. I am an avid people watcher. I am lucky to live in a city where there are so many different types of people. Tourists, Italians, Florentines (yes they need their own category), student fieldtrips, and seemily random protests that pop up in the piazzas from time to time, leaves me with a healthy variety of people to observe.
A young woman, student I believe, happened to cross my line of vision while I was sitting on a bench in Piazza della Repubblica. She was scraping the bottom of her gelato cup with gusto, power walking through the piazza with reckless abandon, hardly watching where she was going. Fate was on her side, however, because everyone in her direct path seemed to realize she was enjoying the last drops of sticky goodness, and could not be bothered to pay attention to the world immediately around her. It was enough to make me want to get up and buy a gelato myself!
Which leads me to want to give a bit of advice for the unsuspecting tourist, or to new students in the city, about the “Rule of Gelato”.
If the Gelateria you are thinking about entering has their gelato piled as high as Mt. Vesuvius, Do Not Enter! They have added filler ingredients and air to make their supply last longer, and therefore the gelato isn’t as creamy or flavorful as it should be. They might be in a well frequented area where they know they can sell their substandard gelato for top price.
Good gelaterias, the ones that make choosing your flavor combinations difficult, tend to have their gelato situated just within the parameters of the metal container. No fillers, no massive crowds, just good homemade loveliness ready for consumption. They might run out of your favorite, due to limited production, but at least you know whatever else you choose is going to be good!
My personal favorites are Gelateria Innocenti on the Oltrarno side of Ponte alla Carraia, and Gelateria Lorenzo, situated where Via della Spada and Via del Sole meet. I tend to get dark chocolate, coffee with the daily special. Have you been to the enchanting city of Florence and indulged in amazing gelato? Please share your experiences and favorite places! I am always looking for new places to visit!