Love gelato? Who doesn’t! Every year towards the end of May the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence hosts a Gelato Festival.
This successful event has been has been going from strength to strength since 2010 and is now one of the most anticipated dates in Italian food lovers diaries. For 2013 there is the additional exciting news that Firenze Gelato Tour is going to travel throughout the country, to spread the word about artisan gelato culture.
Stands are set up in some of the prettiest squares in the historic center of Florence. Both small artisan and larger commercial producers will be in attendance so you can test your favorite classic flavors and some new exciting ones.
The way the festival works is like this; You purchase a card that entitles you five tastings a various sites throughout the festival. Also included is a Gelato guide, a totebag and free entrance to exhibitions, book presentations and and gelato making demonstrations. You can even sign up for a “gelato make for day” course! The main venues are in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Strozzi. There are other events and stands scattered throughout the city.
Would you like to learn more about the history of gelato? There is a new museum that has recently opened in Bologna that covers this delicious topic. The Gelato Museum Carpigiani is the first museum dedicated to the history, culture and technology of gelato making and was in attendance at the Firenze Gelato Festival 2012, with historic photographs and traditional tools of the craft. The project aims to spread the culture of original Italian gelato and to become an international reference point in the industry.
At the 2012 at 25 different gelato shops and producers were in attendance. You could discover gelato made from yogurt, vegan gelato, even a gelato made“al fresco” (florentine slang for “in prison”) by the young guests of the “Meucci Juvenile Reformatory”. Looking for the classics? Of course there is always the traditional chocolate, made from the finest chocolate makers, hazelnut, with the the special IGP nuts from Piedmonte, and the freshest seasonal fruit flavors. There is a contest to vote on the flavor of the year with Pecan and Canadian Maple Syrup taking the prize at last years festival. Records were set with the 2012 festival, 8.000 liters of milk, 1.500 liters of cream, 7.500 kilos of sugar, which, mixed with the raw materials brought by each of the 30 gelato makers come to the Firenze Gelato Festival, have produced 15thousands kilos of gelato consumed in the Village of the Master Gelato Makers and the Emerging Gelato Makers in Piazza Santa Maria Novella. 10,000 visitors attended the festival.
Stay tuned as spring approaches and Tour Italy Now will keep you up to date with all of the details as they become available.
Yours in savoring Italian gelato!