20 February 2011

Golosa per il Gelato

It is no surprise that I am golosa (gluttonous: to have a sweet tooth) for gelato considering the word "gelato" is mentioned several times on my blog. In fact, we could say I am a gelatoholic.

Recently, a new gelateria, Cantina del Gelato, opened up around the corner from my home, which is rather dangerous for me. I watched with curiosity as they reconstructed an old wine cantina, wondering what they would be opening in the upcoming weeks. The vaulted ceiling is a reminder of the cantina that once stood there.  The small, blue window next to the door is where one used to pick up wine after hours, which reminds me of the days when, once upon a time, we had fresh milk home-delivered in the States. That was when you could still buy fresh milk.
Street view
Florence is filled with gelaterias, but few are truly good artigianale (homemade, artisan, craft) gelaterias. Most serve gelato that has been mass produced with plenty of additives and preservatives. Cantina del Gelato serves a few of the best flavors of gelato each day -- mascarpone and nutella, pistacchio, caprino and noci, limone, biscotti, to name a few -- not 31 or more flavors. They cater to quality and taste as opposed to quantity of flavors.

What truly sets this gelateria apart from the rest of the gelaterias? They found their niche with something you won't find elsewhere in Florence. Fruit from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.

Cantina del Gelato offers Succhi Tropicale (tropical fruit juices).  The fruit is picked in Brazil when ripe as opposed to prematurely like we are accustomed to; immediately juiced from the pulp; without preservatives added, they are then frozen; and then imported to Florence, Italy.  Choose from fruit such as maracuja (passion fruit),  goiaba (guava), caju fruit (the fruit of the cashew tree. Did you know that each fruit bears only one cashew, and the cashew is actually the flower of the fruit?  The fruit itself has considerably more healthful than is the nut.), mango, banana, lime, acerola (the queen of vitamin C), and the number one "superfood," acai berry.   These fruits are rich in antioxidants, anti-aging benefits, omega-fats, anticancer benefits, fights against heart disease, lowers blood pressure, low in calories, high in fiber, helps one lose weight, and packed full of a large variety of vitamins and minerals.

Best of all:  Ask for a "Lo Frullo Acai."  Served in a bowl; eaten with a spoon.  

All that Cantina del Gelato serves is made with the finest, natural, top quality products, with no preservatives, and is made fresh daily.

A few of the many reasons why fruit from the rainforest is important in addition to what I've mentioned above:  Seventy percent of the 3,000 plants that the U.S. National Cancer Institute has found to have anticancer properties are found only in the rainforest.  There is an estimated 3,000 edible fruits found in the rainforest, but only 200 are cultivated for use around the world. At least 80% of our developed world's diet originated in the tropical rainforest.

As I move in the direction of what really matters to me on my journey living in Italy, I try to make healthful choices.  In other words, because all they offer tastes so good and is full of healthy reasons to eat it, I can righteously justify going daily to my neighborhood gelateria.  Right?  

Samio (left) and Giuseppe (right), gelateria partners

Whether you're an athlete, foodie, have a sweet tooth, are hot and need something cold to put in your mouth, care about your nutrients, when you're in Florence or if you live in Florence, make a point of visiting Cantina del Gelato, and tell them Josslyn sent you.  The winter hours are from 12:00 until 11:00 in the evening daily, closed Mondays.  Soon they will extend the hours and days for the spring and summer.  Giuseppe and Samio are friendly and will treat you right.

You can find them in Oltrarno, 200 meters from Ponte Vecchio at Via de' Bardi, 31, Florence, 50125, Italy. 

JUNE 2, 2011 UPDATE:

The summer hours are now in operation, which means Cantina del Gelato is now open seven days a week until midnight!  New flavors are in the house too.  My new favorite:  menta bianca  (white mint).  The flavor is incredibly refreshing on a hot day and tastes so clean being made from pure mint.


  1. The summer hours are now in operation, which means Cantina del Gelato is now open seven days a week until midnight! New flavors are in the house too. My new favorite: menta bianca (white mint). The flavor is incredibly refreshing on a hot day and tastes so clean being made from pure mint.

  2. Just returned to NYC from Florence where we visited the Cantina del Gelato twice. It feels less commercial than the other gelaterias . We were fortunate to have Giuseppe serve us both times and he never steered us wrong. My daughter loved the mascarpone & nutella as well as the limone and I loved the pistachio and the caramel. It was definitely worth the trek over the Arno though we were staying closer to other renown gelaterias. If you're in Florence, Cantina del Gelato is not to be missed.

  3. Just want to come here and say thank you again! It is your blog post that brought my husband and I to this gelato heaven, and amazingly last Sunday night we actually met you there! It was very nice to see you in person and of course Mabel.

    During our stay, we went to Cantina del Gelato twice a day, Giuseppe and Samio are so kind, and we basically sample every flavor there. Love! My husband also posted a review on Tripadvisor.

    Please say hi for us when you next see them!

  4. Do you have a hankering for gelato?

    After what seems like a very long winter hiatus, Giuseppe and Samio have reopened Cantina del Gelato with the usual winter hours, which means they are closed Mondays and the rest of the days they are open until 11 p.m.

    See you at the Cantina.

  5. We are in Florence on May 15th. We will definitely make a stop here if we can.

    1. It will be worth the journey. Be sure to tell Giuseppe and Samio you found them via this blog.