Hand holds up gelato cone in Florence. On right is sign with gelato flavors.

The Best Gelato in Florence – A Local’s Picks for 2024

Updated on January 19, 2024

I imagine asking someone from Florence where to get the best gelato is like asking someone from Chicago where to get the best deep-dish pizza or someone from Tokyo where to get the best sushi – you’ll probably get different answers from every person you ask.

Still, I’m sharing my picks for the Best Gelato in Florence for 2024.  There are some excellent gelaterie that have opened in the last few years here in Florence, and the classics remain.

Why is gelato such a big deal in Florence – even more so than in the rest of Italy? 

Florence claims to be the birthplace of gelato.  In the late 1500’s, Bernardo Buontalenti created the creamy cold treat by adding some milk and honey (and possibly eggs or liquor) to sorbetto (sorbet). Then, in 1979, there was a competition in Florence to recreate Buontalenti’s invention. And, it was decided that Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani’s recipe was the closest.  

Whether or not Florence is really the birthplace of gelato is debatable, but the fact that Florence has amazing gelato is not. 

While you’re here, be sure to sample gelato at least once a day (even in the winter)!  And, if you need some variety, you’ll also find sorbetto (sorbet), mousse, cakes with gelato, and frozen desserts at Florence’s gelato shops.

Good To Know:  Many gelaterie in Florence have vegan gelato, dairy-free gelato, and gluten-free gelato. 

Don’t feel like reading and just want to know which gelaterie in Florence are the best?
My Top 3:

Perchè No
Gelateria de’ Medici

You may want to read
Where to Find the Best Gelato in Tuscany
Best Gelato in Rome

Map of the Best Gelato in Florence

Blue cone icon = my picks for best gelato in Florence
Green cone icon = other popular gelato shops in Florence

What’s the Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream?

They’re both delicious, but there are a few main differences when comparing gelato to ice cream.


  • Has less fat
  • Uses more milk (vs cream)
  • Is slow-churned, which creates few air bubbles and a dense final product
  • Relies more on natural sugars (from fruit, for example)
  • Is softer (stored at a higher temperature)
  • Usually doesn’t contain eggs

Quality Gelato – What To Look For

Gelato display at Vivoli Gelateria in Florence, Italy.
I’m eyeing the cocomero e menta (watermelon and mint) in the back center tin

You want to find gelato artigianale (artisanal, hand-crafted, homemade). 

The best gelato is made with simple ingredients (milk, sugar, and a flavor like fruit or chocolate) and doesn’t include preservatives, chemicals, artificial colors, or artificial flavors.   

Gelato that is stacked high usually means it’s got preservatives.  Gelato outside of a cool container (like stainless steel bins you’ll see at quality gelaterie) without preservatives and chemicals would just melt.   

Bright colors?  Probably a bad sign.  The gelato should reflect what the actual fruit or food looks like when crushed or mashed and added to gelato.  Pay particular attention to pistachio gelato (should be a dull brownish-green, not bright green) and banana gelato (should be a grey-ish brown, not bright yellow).   

Is the shop selling anything besides gelato?  If so, give it a pass.  An excellent gelateria focuses on gelato, and nothing else.  Get your pizza slice at the pizzeria next door. 

Gelato Flavors to Try in Florence

  • Buontalenti – named after Bernardo Buontalenti, the Florentine who invented gelato in the 1960’s at Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani.  It’s a creamy flavor.
  • Pistacchio (pistachio)
  • Crema (cream)
  • Fiordilatte (‘flower of milk,’ made with the best milk)
  • Nocciola (hazelnut)
  • Limone (lemon)
  • Cocomero (watermelon); sometimes labeled anguria, which is Italian word for the fruit
  • Fichi (figs)

The Best Gelato in Florence

Perchè No!

(via dei Tavolini, 19r. +39 055.2398969)

This little gelateria tucked into a side street has been serving its creamy gelato to Florentines since 1939.  Its name translates to ‘Why Not?’ which I ask myself each time I walk by.  The owners are delightful and so passionate about creating high-quality, flavorful gelato for their customers.  I love the delicate flavors like lavanda (lavender), cacchi (persimmon), or miele e sesamo (honey sesame).  I’ve never been disappointed.  If you’re in centro and can’t bring yourself to walk out to Gelateria de’ Medici, stop by the excellent gelateria Perchè No. 

Good To Know:  They have a tiny bench across the lane from the shop – snag it to give your legs a rest and do a little people-watching while you enjoy your cone (or cup)!

Gelateria de’ Medici

(Piazza Beccaria, 7r.  +39 055.3860008)

Gelato on display at Gelateria de' Medici in Florence, Italy.
Try the crema de’ Medici

It’s the best of the best!  We even had a cart full of Gelateria de’ Medici gelato at our wedding.  De’ Medici uses the freshest, in-season ingredients and they have incredible combinations.  For example, try basilico (basil) and pinolo (pine nut) together and you’ll taste – that’s right, pesto!  It’s worth the little walk to Piazza Beccaria and you can saunter down the pedestrian shopping street Borgo La Croce on your way there and back.  It’s so good, I even take my kids there after a visit to their dentist (it’s just around the corner, and yes, I know I’m not winning a mom award for it). 

Good To Know:  There’s some seating in front of the shop, but it’s near the busy street.  Take your cone and wander back toward centro and do some window shopping along the way.


(Via dei Tosinghi, 12r.  +39 055.578.682)

Hand holding cup of Badiani gelato in front of the shop in Florence, Italy.
Holding up my cup of Badiani gelato in front of the new branch near the Duomo

Badiani (yes, the one that makes the true buontalenti flavor) has dazzled Florentines for decades at its shop outside the city center. Now, with the opening of this location between the Duomo and Piazza della Repubblica, you can get your hands on Badiani’s high-quality, incredible gelato.

You’ll find the classic flavors like buontalenti, pistacchio, and stracciatella – but I encourage you to try one of their in-season specialties. On a recent visit, I tried the kiwi/banana/spinach flavor – buonissimo!

Badiani’s gelato is delicious. It’s so good that I’ve found myself heading straight to it on my last few trips to Florence. Please don’t tell my other favorites I’ve been ‘cheating’ on them!

Good To Know: You can also sit and enjoy gelato, pastries, or a drink in the small seating area (but it’s more expensive).

La Sorbettiera

(Piazza Tasso, 11r.  +39 055.512.0336)

Man standing in front of La Sorbettiera gelateria storefront in Florence, Italy.
My husband, happy to be getting some gelato from La Sorbettiera

We often stop by this gelateria in the evening and there is almost always a line of locals waiting for their fix.  It’s in Piazza Tasso, which is just inside the city walls.  It’s relatively new on the scene but has been welcomed with open arms.  The husband-wife team is passionate about gelato, and it shows!  My husband loves to get a ‘yo-yo,’ a gelato ‘sandwich’ made with gelato stuffed between two wafers.

Good To Know:  This is a nice spot to get gelato with kids in the late morning or early afternoon because you can walk across the street to the small playground in Piazza Tasso.

Good To Know:  La Sorbettiera has a second location in Santo Spirito, at via Mazzetta, 9/a. It pairs perfectly with a pizza from Gusta.

Gelateria La Carraia

(Piazza Sauro, 25r.  +39 055.280695)

This is one of my son’s favorites, and he’s in good company, as you’ll see by the lines out the door, especially in the evening.  Don’t worry – the long lines move quickly.

It’s a good pick if you want to get a gelato and wander onto the bridge (Ponte alla Carraia). 

We love the mousses, the fruit flavors (cantaloupe and watermelon) and special flavors like cantuccino (cream with Tuscan biscotti) and After Eight Mint (kind of like Junior Mints).

Good To Know:  One bridge over, toward the Ponte Vecchio, is Gelateria Santa Trinita.  It’s pretty similar to La Carraia.  Try the mascarpone or black sesame flavors!

Good To Know: If you’re in the Santa Croce neighborhood, you can stop in at the second La Carraia location near Piazza Santa Croce (via dei Benci, 24/r).

Gelateria della Passera

(via Toscanella, 15, +39 055.291882)

Tiny Gelateria della Passera in Florence, Italy.
The entrance to cozy Gelateria della Passera

I don’t go out of my way to get gelato here, but having a scoop here is worth it if you’re nearby.  Piazza della Passera is charming and on a summer evening, it (and the surrounding side streets) feels like a movie set.  It’s a good stop after dinner (at a pizzeria or a Michelin-starred restaurant) or for a pre-dinner snack

They have a small but creative selection of gelato and sorbetti.  Try the mojito in the summer!


(via Ricasoli, 60r.  +39 055.289476)

Cup of fig and uva fragola gelato from Carabè gelateria in Florence, Italy.
I will never turn down this fig gelato from Carabé

This is the place to go if you’re craving a granita or a fruit-flavored gelato or sorbet.  The owner is from Sicily and you can feel the Sicilian inspiration in the gelato flavors – along with citrus combos, you’ll also find delicious cannoli gelato.  This is my favorite place for fichi (fig) gelato in the summer or after a visit to see Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery.


(via del Campanile, 2.  +39 055.216158)

Cup of gelato sitting on the counter in Grom gelateria in Florence, Italy.
My big cup of salted caramel and crema gelato from Grom

Yes, Grom is a chain.  But this chain does gelato right.  I’m a huge fan of the salted caramel and their monthly specialties.  I appreciate that they show where they source their ingredients (whenever possible, from Italy). 

Good To Know:  Grom’s gelaterie are gluten-free.

My Sugar

(via de Ginori, 49r, +39 393.0696042)

This tiny (but mighty!) place is run by a passionate husband-wife team who source their ingredients from the nearby Mercato San Lorenzo.  Try their fiordilatte with mint and basil, black sesame, or stick with their excellent classic flavors. 

Helpful Tip: Stop in here before or after visiting David at the Accademia Gallery. It’s just around the corner.

Other Popular Gelaterie in Florence

Gelateria dei Neri

(via dei Neri, 9/11r.  +39 055.210034)

This place has a loyal following, especially amongst the study abroad crew and returning visitors.  The shop has delicious flavors like cheesecake with berries, salted caramel and ricotta and pistachio cream.  The granite (granitas) are some of the best in Florence, especially the mango flavor.


(via Isole delle Stinche, 7r.  +39 055.292334)

Vivoli gelato delivery scooter parked on a street in Florence, Italy.
You can even get Vivoli gelato ‘to go’

Famous in Florence and serving gelato to Florentines since 1929, Vivoli serves up an excellent scoop.  Don’t ask for a cone (they say it detracts from the flavor of the gelato), and don’t expect a lot of ‘bang for your buck.’  Still, the quality is high, and the classic flavors of gelato are worth a visit.  If you love coffee, this is the place to try an affogato – a coffee with ice cream. 

Good To Know:  Vivoli also has a nice selection of pastries. And the small outdoor seating area is a perfect place to take a break from sightseeing.


(via Calimaruzza, 2-4.  +39 055.288505)
(via Calzaiuoli, 65r.  +39 055.264339)

Window display at Venchi in Florence, Italy.  You can see the wall of chocolate through the window.

Venchi is a famous Italian chocolate brand, and they serve chocolate gelato as well.  The stores’ walls of liquid chocolate draw the crowds in and many people leave with a cone.  I recommend the dark chocolate sorbetti (sorbets). 

There’s also a branch inside the Florence Santa Maria Novella train station.

Il Procopio

(via Pietrapiana, 60r.  +39 055.2346014)

Il Procopio has classic flavors and some interesting combos as well, like cioccolato al peperoncino (a spicy chocolate).

Gelateria Edoardo

(Piazza del Duomo, 45r.  +39 055.281055)

Organic gelato right with a view of the Duomo.  Stop into the small gelato shop for a frozen treat after you’ve climbed the Cathedral’s dome or Giotto’s bell tower.  They have some quirky and interesting flavors and a loyal following.

Good To Know:  Edoardo’s gelato doesn’t just contain natural ingredients – it’s certified biologico (organic), which is a big deal here in Italy.  Many places (farms, restaurants, etc) in Italy are organic but don’t want to go through the difficult and expensive process to get certified.  Going through with it shows a huge commitment on the part of Edoardo.

La Strega Nocciola Gelateria

(via Ricasoli, 16r, and other locations.  +39 055.217375)

La Strega Nocciola has a cult-like following among tourists.  The shop has plenty of visiting fans that flock for its classic flavors like buontalenti and nocciola.

How to Order Gelato in Florence

Gelateria de' Medici entrance in Florence, Italy.

There are two ways to order gelato in Italy, and it depends on the gelateria. To find out which method your chosen shop uses, just watch the people in line in front of you.

OPTION #1: Order and receive your gelato first and then pay for it. 

  1. Choose a cup or cone.
  2. Choose how many scoops (if you’ve chosen a cone – if you choose a cup, it comes with a certain number of scoops).
  3. Choose your flavors.
  4. Pay at the register.
  5. Enjoy!

OPTION #2: Pay for your gelato and then get your gelato at the counter. 

  1. Pay at the register and keep your receipt.
  2. Take your receipt to the counter (you may have to wait in line again).
  3. Choose a cup or cone.
  4. Choose how many scoops (if you’ve chosen a cone – if you choose a cup, it comes with a certain number of scoops).
  5. Choose your flavors.
  6. Enjoy!

Good To Know:  Want to try a flavor before you order?  Go for it, but it’s best not to ask to sample 5 different flavors, especially if there’s a long line of customers waiting.

Gelato in Florence Helpful Vocabulary

ItalianPronunciationEnglish Translation
un assaggiooon ahs-SAHJ-joetaste/sample
un conooon COH-noa cone
una coppettaoo-nah kope-PEHT-taha cup
un gustooon GOOSE-toeone flavor
due/tre gustidoo-eh / treh GOOSE-teetwo/three flavors
per favorepair fah-VOH-rayplease
vorrei…vor-RAYI would like…
grazieGRAHT-see-ehthank you
quanto costa?KWAHN-toe KOHS-tahhow much does it cost?

Florence Gelato FAQ

Is Florence known for gelato?

Yes!  Many say that gelato was even invented in Florence in the 1960s.  There are fantastic gelaterie scattered throughout the city. 

Are there other good places for gelato in Tuscany?

Yes, you’ll find a gelateria in all but the tiniest of Tuscan villages (and sometimes they have a gelateria too!).  Some other well-known gelato shops in the area include Gelateria Dondoli in San Gimignano and Gelateria di Castellina in, you guessed it – Castellina (in Chianti).

Is there vegan gelato in Florence? 

Yes, most gelato shops (gelaterie) in Florence have vegan options.  You can ask ‘È vegano?’ (Is it vegan?).  Usually the sorbetti (sorbets) are vegan, but it’s always a good idea to ask.

How to tell if the gelato is gluten-free?

You can ask ‘È senza glutine?’ (Is it without gluten?).  It’s a good idea to tell them you’re celiac (Sono celiaca/o) if that’s the case, so you can find out if contamination is an issue or not. If you’re worried about contamination, go to Grom, which is completely gluten-free.

What’s with the ‘r’ in the address? 

Florence has an uncommon address system for businesses.  The ‘r’ after a number in a Florentine address (for example: via de Ginori, 49r) just means it’s a business, versus a personal residence.

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