Last updated on October 24th, 2023
Are you planning your Tuscany itinerary and want to make sure it includes the some of the best gelaterie?
Or maybe you’re already on your Tuscany road trip and you want to stop for gelato – but not ‘so-so’ gelato.
The good news is that there are so many incredible gelato shops in Tuscany, so you don’t have to drive far to find one.
The gelato shops on my list below are the ones that stand out in my 2+ decades working and living in Italy. My family lives in Tuscany and we eat a lot of gelato, so these places are tried and tested – and they all passed with flying colors!
I’m sure you’ll find some that you love that aren’t on my list, but this should at least give you a running start on your quest to find some of the most delizioso gelato while you’re in Tuscany!
Enjoy eating gelato in Tuscany – it’s one of the best things to do while you’re visiting Toscana!
Good To Know: The list is in no particular order.
Table of Contents
Map of Where to Find the Best Gelato in Tuscany
Gelateria di Castellina (Castellina in Chianti)
This place holds a special place in my heart because my now-husband and I stopped here on our first date. It will hold a special place in your heart because the gelato is fantastic. They use local ingredients that are in season, so if there’s a crop of blackberries, you’ll find blackberry gelato the next day!
Good To Know: It’s just outside the village center, but worth going out of your way for!
I Pini (San Casciano in Val di Pesa)
We could probably send someone to college with the money we’ve spent at this excellent gelateria at the edge of Chianti. It does classic flavors well – especially the pistachio.
Gelateria Dondoli (San Gimignano)
This award-winning and well-known gelateria in Piazza della Cisterna hasn’t let all of the fame get to its head. Dondoli consistently creates excellent gelato and fun, unique flavors like tomato/strawberry/basil and gorgonzola walnut (on the left in my cup in the photo).
Even though other shops pop up in this lively town in Southern Tuscany, I always end up back at no-frills Snoopy and I’m never disappointed. Try the fondente (dark chocolate) and walk back to Piazza della Repubblica to sit on the steps and people-watch while you enjoy your cone.
Gelateria Veneta (Lucca)
This place is right by the main entrance to town at Porta San Pietro, and it’s hard to walk by without getting a gelato. The selection is mainly classics, and we tend to stick to those. There’s a nice outdoor seating area or you can stroll the wide walls of Lucca.
Read about our Favorite Things to Do in Lucca with Kids
Gelateria Buon Gusto (Pienza)
Nicola Sgarbi’s passion shines through in his unique flavors (like (ACE – orange/carrot/lemon) and his fine-tuned classics. Grab a cone or cup and stroll the via dell’amore and take in the views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Val d’Orcia (Orcia Valley).
Read how to spend One Day in Pienza
Yes, it’s the same Sgarbi as the gelateria I mentioned above in Pienza. Local foodie Louisa Loring highly recommends this place for some of the best gelato in Italy.
Good To Know: You can also book gelato-making classes with Sgarbi.
Badiani, Gelateria de’ Medici, and Perchè No? (Florence)
I haven’t forgotten the excellent gelaterie of Florence! These three are my top three picks for where to find the best gelato in Florence.
You can read more about them in Best Gelato in Florence.
The 5 Important Tips for Identifying Quality Gelato in Tuscany (& the rest of Italy!)
When you’re out wandering the streets of Tuscan hilltop towns looking for your next cono (cone), keep an eye out for:
- Gelato artigianale. This is artisanal, hand-crafted, homemade gelato – it’s not mass-produced in a factory.
- Gelato made with simple ingredients like milk, sugar, and a flavor like fruit or chocolate.
- Gelato that is stacked high. This usually means it’s full of preservatives. That’s the only way to keep gelato that’s outside of a cool container from melting. You want to find gelato that’s ‘hiding’ in the containers – often stainless steel.
- Bright colors. The gelato should reflect what the actual fruit or food looks like when crushed or mashed and added to gelato. So, banana gelato should be a dull, grey-ish brown, not bright yellow. We usually look at the shop’s pistachio gelato (if it’s bright green, run away – if it’s a dull, grey-ish brown / green, get a scoop!)
- Gelaterie that try to do it all. The best gelato shops sell… gelato (and maybe granite or another Italian sweet treat. But, if the shop is selling pizza, souvenirs, and potato chips, give it a pass.