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THE BEST GELATO IN BOLOGNA: WHERE IS IT?

Updated: Jul 21, 2022



Today we discover the best 4 places to eat the greatest gelato in Bologna:


Gelato in Italy is a must, and it is even more so in Bologna which is one of the best cities in Italy for gelato.

Why is this?


Let’s start by saying that Bologna is one of the cities with some of the oldest and best-known manufacturers of gelato machines. The local Carpigiani factory even opened a gelato museum a few years ago!


So Bologna is a polestar for all gelato professionals and gelato lovers.


And here are the three golden rules:

  • Gelato shouldn’t be piled up in colorful hummocks

  • Gelato should be prepared with the simplest and freshest ingredients (not surprising, yet not always the case)

  • The freshest gelato is usually stored in small round containers, and they usually have a lid.

Here are four of the best gelato places in Bologna that follow all these rules!

 

CREMERIA SANTO STEFANO

Cremeria Santo Stefano is in Via Santo Stefano 70/C. It means walking a bit as it is not close to the city’s most famous landmarks, but it is so worth it!


This is a father and son family business. Gianni, the dad, used to be a baker and loves French patisserie which is why the shop looks a bit like a Provence boutique (Gianni loves to spend his holidays in the south of France). Mattia, the son, not only makes the best gelato, but has also started to explore baking and gourmet chocolate-making. The results are quite incredible, and everything is worth tasting: macaroons, nut spreads, jams and marmalades, tarts and popsicles. But back to the gelato!


They have many different flavours and of course all the traditional ones like Crema and Cioccolato. Also, being pastry chefs what sets them apart is the variety of the flavours and the uniqueness of their flavour-of-the-month which is always a showstopper. So much so it’s not unusual for customers to demand it be added to the regular menu at the end of the month. As happened with the Crema Libanese, a milk-based gelato with orange-flower water, almonds and pistachios. I was one of those charmed customers.


The Cremeria Santo Stefano uses only the freshest milk from the Alps and seasonal fruit, and they love to experiment and combine unexpected ingredients: so it’s quite on the cards you’ll end up tasting a gelato with caramelized olives.


Highlights and infos:

  • The Cremeria Santo Stefano is open from 11am to 10pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Yes, there can be a long line outside the shop, so it’s better to try to be there in less busy hours, like between 11am and 2pm.

  • Their pistachio flavours (yes, plural) are out of this world.

  • If you go there at lunchtime, consider lunching on a Gelato Focaccia: a soft sweet bun filled with 2-3 scoops of gelato – the summer lunch you never dreamed of!


OGGI GELATO


Oggi stands for “Officina Gelato Gusto Italiano”. Matteo and Massimo chose the word officina, which means workshop, to underline the handmade, artisan way they make gelato. All it takes is the best-quality ingredients, the best-quality machines and a lot of passion.


They started in Bologna in 2016, so they basically saw my daughter grow up and develop her own tastes (mascarpone and pistachio are currently high in my daughter's rankings). Over the years they also opened some other Oggi Gelato shops in Italy and around the world. But they never tire of saying that they do this only if they know they will be able to directly control the quality of each of the ingredients used to make their gelato, and keep the same standards of quality worldwide. Oggi is more than a gelateria, it is a gelato concept.


The menu changes with the seasons, although they always have the evergreen traditional flavours, perhaps with a small twist, for instance by caramelizing the hazelnuts in their yummy Bacio flavour.

The gelato menu covers the whole back wall of the shop with clipped posters and drawings, which make it all very colourful, not to mention the dried flowers hanging upside-down from the ceiling!


Highlights and info:

  • Oggi Gelato is in Via Ugo Bassi 25 and is open from 11am to 11pm from Sunday to Thursday and from 11am to 12pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

  • I absolutely love their Pulcinella flavour: a milk and ricotta-based gelato with orange zest and Modica chocolate chips.

  • There is also a corner shop in Via Rizzoli 1/2B, with a smaller choice of flavours. This is open from 2pm to 10pm Sunday to Thursday, and from 2pm to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.


CREMERIA CAVOUR


Cremeria Cavour has been run by two brothers, Stefano and Alessandro, since 2008. It is a very fancy and bright gelateria under the portico around a small piazza, called Piazza Cavour. They love to chat with their customers and say it’s the main inspiration for their gelato which they like to define an emotion.


And they are right: their gelato brings back sweet memories to locals starting from the names they give to the most elaborate flavours, that they call their specials. You will find Il Gigante with pine nuts, which is the nickname locals give to the Neptune fountain, and I Portici (the porticoes) with white chocolate and puffed rice.


Benedetta has a little routine to share with you: when she buys gelato at Cremeria Cavour she strolls over to the nearby San Domenico square, sits on a bench under the trees and admires the monumental medieval tombs while nibbling on her cone.


Highlights and info:

  • Cremeria Cavour is in Piazza Cavour 1/B and is open from 12am to 11:30pm from Tuesday to Sunday.

  • Go for the Stracciatella, you won’t regret it. Oh, and if you like cherries, you have to try the Amarenata!

  • There are five machines in the shop, so if you’re lucky you will see the gelato-makers mixing, stirring and preparing the gelato.


GALLIERA 49


Photo Credits: www.galliera49.it

Galliera 49 takes its name from its address as it is at number 49 of Via Galliera. It opened in 1998 and makes some of the best gelato, sorbets and granitas in Bologna.


What is a granita? It is an icy semi-liquid sort of slushie made from water, sugar and fruit or nuts (the most typical one, from Sicily, is the almond granita). The one they make at Galleria 49 is a genuine Sicilian granita, so don’t miss it if you feel like tasting something different.


Another thing to high-five them for is their attention to the environment: they use machines that use water to cool down the machines, and they aim for fair-trade using organic ingredients and compostable cups and spoons. They truly believe in sustainability, and this is always a plus! Their variety of vegan flavors is also another interesting feature if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant.


Highlights and info:

  • Gelateria Galliera 49 is open from 11am to 10pm from Sunday to Thursday and from 11am to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

  • Granita and sorbet are their best products, for instance try the Mandarino Tardivo mandarin, or the almond sorbet.

  • Feeling like a bit of Sicily even if you’re in Bologna? Try the Cannolo, filled on the spot with the creamiest filling ever!


AND WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GELATO AND ICE-CREAM?


So now you know where to eat the best gelato in Bologna. But there is one last thing. You really need to know the difference between gelato and ice-cream. I know you’re wondering. Well, it would be a great topic on a food tour of Bologna. With Art and Food Tours of course!




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