The Gelato Festival’s Creamy Goodness

Differing from ice cream, gelato was invented in 1559 by the architect and artist Bernardo Buontalenti, and the first taste of gelato made from milk, honey, and egg yolk was served in the Medici court here in Florence. Characteristics of gelato that set it apart from everyday American ice cream, is its incredible freshness, silkiness, density, and warmer serving temperature.  Enjoy all-inclusive event access and voting privileges from Friday to Sunday, April 20 – 22.  This year marks the ninth edition of a road show that will kick off in Florence’s Piazzale Michelangelo. The fair travels across Europe and is dedicated to recognizing the most talented Italian and foreign gelato artisans as well as creative flavors of today.

Also acting as a competition among gelaterias from all over Italy and Europe, Gelato Festival Europa will eventually select the best of 2018 in Italy and Europe. The preliminary rounds are held in Florence, Rome, Turin, and Milan. Stopovers follow throughout the summer in Berlin, Warsaw, and just outside of Vienna, while the contest final will be held back in Florence during the second weekend of September.

At the grand finale, only 16 gelato makers, who have been voted the finest of each city by a panel of expert judges, journalists, and the public will compete and, from there, the best will be chosen. In 2021, the Gelato Festival World Masters will be held to decide which is the #1 gelato on the planet—and the winner of Gelato Festival Europa will be eligible to compete.

For those simply eager to try unique artisan flavors while taking in an amazing view of the city or a gelato maker interested in taking part in the festival, visit the festival website for more information. Daily admission is €10 for adults and €5 children; tickets are available online or at the event. (anna rosin)