The Five Best Places for Gelato in Bologna, Italy

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One minor downside of working at ToursByLocals is we frequently fall victim to cravings for food from far-off places. Helping travellers books tours of Singaporean street food, or Parisian patisseries, or Brazilian asados is a surefire way to bring on the desire to hop on a plane and eat ourselves silly.

Today is no exception, as we publish this delicious blog post from local guide Christine in Bologna. Christine is taking delight in discussing the tempting, tantalizing (torturous?) subject of Italian gelato. We hope you’re headed there soon, as you’re about to wish you were.

When it starts to get hot in Bologna, I think gelato. And even when it turns chilly in autumn, gelato still is appreciated. Gelato is an Italian specialty that is good any time. What is the difference between gelato and ice cream? The percentage of butter fats is one component. Ice cream has 10% or more butter fat while gelato has 7-8% butter fat. But also gelato has less air churned into it and it is served at a lower temperature, all of these elements helping bring out the intense flavor and creaminess.

There are so many shops that dot the landscape of the city of Bologna. Some are great, some traditional, and some not very good at all. So if you want the opinion of a long time local, look no further. I have tried and tested many gelato shops over the years and have gathered the historical insight also from Bolognese friends. So when you visit Bologna, why not try all the best gelaterie in the city? Let’s call it a gelato tour. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it.

Now if you really want to become an expert, Bologna has a Gelato University started by Carpigiani (an ice cream/gelato machine factory). That’s right: homework could involve eating gelato. The school is outside the city of Bologna in Anzola Dell ‘Emilia and offers a four week course on how to make gelato with hands-on practice. Students come from around the world to learn the secret of great gelato making.

I’ve made a list of my favourite places, with a description of the type of gelato made in each shop, and my absolute favorite listed last. Now when you find yourself in Bologna you can try some of my favorite gelato shops.

1. Gelatauro
A bar and gelateria with a Sicilian theme. They often use different, new ingredients for Italian gelato like cinnamon and granita, and serve with various fresh fruits or coffee, which are worth the trip alone. Granita is a slushy ice sometimes served with a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top.
Via S. Vitale, 98, 40125 Bologna, Italy +39 051 230049

2. Ugo
An old time favorite gelateria with Bolognese people... originating from the time when the choice of gelato was limited to 3 or 4 delicious flavors, like chocolate, marscapone or pistachio. This is a traditional gelateria that has been around the longest of this selection of shops.
Via S. Felice, 24, 40122 Bologna, Italy +39 051 263849

3. Gelateria Grom
Gelato that is made with the highest quality ingredients and seasonal flavors and only steps from Piazza Maggiore in the city center.
Via D'Azeglio, 13, Bologna, Italy +39 051 273437

4. La Sorbetteria Castiglione
This gelateria has been making creative luscious flavors since 1994 and it was one of the first to provide unique quality gelato in Bologna, with flavor names like Dolce Emma made with ricotta and caramelized figs or Michelangelo sourced with the best Sicilian almonds.
Via Castiglione, 44 d/e, Bologna, Italy +39 051 233257

5. Cremeria Funivia
And now, my absolute favorite gelato in the city of Bologna. I recommend the flavors called New York, New York with pecans or Alice which has a temptingly luxurious ladle of melted chocolate in the middle or the refreshingly sour granita pompelmo rosa (pink grapefruit).
Via Porrettana, 158, 40135 Bologna, Italy +39 051 614 5062

Thanks Christine! Our mouths are watering. Any travellers headed to Bologna in 2016 - and not just those with a sweet tooth - should consider getting in touch with Christine to learn more great secrets about Bologna's incredible food scene.
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