a celery cone, please
A fresh overview of what's new in ice cream, summer's most beloved food
Words Marta Nicolazzo - Photography Gabriele Ancillotti
Following recognition of the Mediterranean Diet, the vite ad alberello of Pantelleria, and the traditional art of the Neapolitan pizzaiolo as parts of our intangible cultural heritage, Italy’s gelato is now knocking on UNESCO’s door: the National Commission has received the official request to grant World Heritage status to the art of the “traditional Italian artisan icecream maker.” In Tuscany, the art dates to the time of Catherine de’ Medici. And in 2014, again in Florence, an idea by artisan gelato expert Vetulio Bondi led to the invention of a flavor to celebrate Forte dei Marmi’s centennial.
In Forte, Sante Del Pizzo is one of the best-known gelato makers, and this year, one of the novelties at his gelateria in the town center – Da Sante – is +Forte, a rum-infused crunch with a tempered, retro flavor, a tribute to our magazine. Then, we rediscover an almost nostalgic flavor as we dip into the treats at the historic Cervino, tucked in amongst the boutiques of the centre and a standard-bearer for Italian IGP and DOP excellence. Imperiale is anchored to tradition and stands out for a “classic,” genuine product and for a capacity to surprise even the most discerning palates with bevies of novelties, such as the Liquirizia Pura flavor. A “proper” gelato is, instead, what one finds at Bellamia, where the all-natural is a philosophy: the milk and the water of the Emilian Apennine, plus organic eggs, are the secrets of such outstanding creations as Cuor di Panna and Stracciatella.
The importance of ensuring the high quality of the materials, an essential prerequisite for any DOC gelato, is a shared perception up and down the Versilia coast. Next, adding its voice to the chorus, La Chicca, a paradise of the most disparate specialties such as an ambrosia of chocolate, pear, and rum and a Pinolo flavor made with the pine nuts of Pisa’s coastal pinewood.
But there are also those who take a step back from tradition to make room for the latest trends. Sole Mio, an Olympus of flavor for vegans and the sports-minded, has a great selection of vegetarian and high-protein concoctions. And while Reggio Calabria invented the Bronzato salted caramel flavor in honor of the Riace bronzes, gelato is art in Marina di Massa too: the Grand Cru gelateria worked closely with the Laura Tartarelli Contemporary Art gallery of Pietrasanta on development of an “art gelato” in a mix of colors and of such perfect goodness as to astound both eye and palate with a singular narration of the territory.
A mandatory stop on any stroll through Forte’s Piccolo Atene neighborhood is Cuore di Gelato; leading their list of temptations is Castagna, a creamy delight incorporating 100% Garfagnana chestnut flour. But for more extravagant flavors, the place to be is the Galliano bar in Viareggio, which serves ricotta-and-spinach, Parmesan-and-celery, and Gorgonzola-and-pear ice creams. Galliano’s in-house Maestro Gelatiere, Enzo Vannozzi, is adamant: “Gelato has no limits!”
the Ice-Cream Parlors of Forte (and the others mentioned in the article)
• Bellamia via Idone 5, 0584 85018 • Cervino via Spinetti 16, 333 6244777 • Da Sante via Matteotti 12, 333 2286063 • Il Maestrale via Piave 38, 366 3911526 • Il Sole via dell’Acqua 15C, 0584 81142 • Imperiale via Colombo 97A, 320 1162275 • La Chicca via Piave 15, 0584 787054 • Mancuso via Achille Franceschi 12, 334 3606545 • Mariani via Mazzini 43, 380 7826368 • Nelson Club via Mazzini 212, 0584 752345 • Le Lumie via Padre Ignazio da Carrara 23, 327 3425269 • Ristori via Cavour 9D, 0584 80298 • Sole Mio via Mazzini 15E, 329 4039037
• Galliano v.le Marconi 127, Viareggio e via Carducci 95, Fiumetto (estiva) 0584 50015 • Grand Cru v.le Roma 116, Marina di Massa, 391 7195200 • Cuore di Gelato via Mazzini 23, Pietrasanta, 392 4193371