Did you know that ice cream was invented in Florence by the architect Buontalenti (1531-1608)? The same architect who designed, among other works, Forte Belvedere, the facade of the Santa Trinità church, the Grotta Grande in the Boboli Gardens. He was also curator for the Medici family’s official events and organized spectacular sceneries and big firework displays. Since 1979 the Badiani ice cream parlor (Viale dei Mille), has dedicated to him its most original flavor, a cream mixture called…Buontalenti cream, of course!
This culinary tour is ideal for tourists who have a sweet tooth and like to stroll in Florence’s historic districts. Together we’ll go searching for ice cream parlors that produce homemade ice cream, starting from the medieval Dante Alighieri district.
Italian ice cream is very healthy food if it is made with natural and fresh ingredients and it contains few calories and is low in fat. Our ice cream is different American ice cream because it does not contain a lot of air and has a much more intense flavor.
The ice cream parlor Perché No (Why not), is a historic Florentine shop which offers certified Slow food ice cream with both original and traditional flavors made of high quality raw materials imported even from India such as Cardamom and spices from the East like saffron , lavender etc. Have you ever tasted rose or olive oil ice cream? Various flavors are soy-based and sugar-free (for diabetics and those who are lactose intolerant). Perché no also organizes ice cream tastings, which in my opinion as a guide who has a sweet tooth, is the best of our gastronomic tours of Florence.
For a few years now, to celebrate this important gastronomic invention, which Florence claims its origin, the Municipality has been organizing the Ice cream Festival from 23 to 27 May (www.firenze.gelatofestival). This event takes place during just one weekend, when the city streets and squares host ice cream parlor’s stands from all over Tuscany. These gastronomic stands compete with each other to create the best ice cream, or the most original: they also have tastings and workshops. Children can invent their favorite flavor together with the Master ice cream makers.
The cost of ice cream in Florence has been standardized to roughly 14 € per kilo, so one cone with two / three flavors shouldn’t cost more than € 2.
The tour includes three ice cream parlors and costs € 10 per person (excluded three bowls of ice cream).
Beware of ice cream parlors that attract you with huge mountains of ice cream displayed in the shop window, they are often an eye-catcher but are of poor quality!