Florence’s Sweetest Paths: Gelato Tour with Hotel Savoy

Rocco Forte Hotels

The name Bernardo Buontalenti might not mean much to those outside of Florence, but it should. A prestigious Florentine architect and artist favoured by the Medici, he is also widely credited with inventing gelato. This frozen delight is now as synonymous with Italy as pizza and is deeply intertwined with Florence’s heritage.  Take a tour of the city’s most celebrated gelaterias, curated by the expert concierge team at Hotel Savoy

Wander Florence's cobbled pathways toward the first gelateria, marvelling at the Duomo di Firenze and Brunelleschi's dome along the way. Arrive in the historic Campo di Marte quarter, where Hotel Savoy has arranged an exclusive tasting at Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani. Since 1932, Badiani has been the purveyor of the famed Buontalenti flavour, named in honour of the illustrious inventor. Stepping inside, the ambience tells of old-world Italy; walls adorned with vintage photographs and curved wooden counters offering a kaleidoscope of flavours and colours - from zesty Amalfi lemon to rich cioccolato fondente. Here, the Florentine summer finds its sweetest escape.

Next on your tour is Vivoli, famed as one of the city’s oldest gelaterias. Tucked away from the sun-drenched streets, near Piazza Santa Croce, Vivoli offers a cool, sweet refuge. This family-run café and ice cream parlour, dating back to the 1930s, is particularly renowned for its affogato - a must-try for any visitor. Order the Gran Crema Caffè for its creamy kick of expertly blended coffee and smooth gelato and you’ll be in good company – Vivoli crafts about 350 of these delectable concoctions each day. 

A short stroll from Vivoli, along an unassuming alley framed by yellow walls, you arrive at Gelateria Perchè No! Established in 1939, this little gelateria is tucked into the fabric of Florence, and is credited with the invention of semifreddo. Here, the Cammilli family’s passion for gelato is palpable, serving up everything from classic pistachio to daring curry with mango. Under the glow of its whimsical neon sign spelling out “Perchè No!” (Why Not!), take your time to explore the unexpected and slate your curiosity.

The final scoop awaits at Gelateria La Carraia, across the Arno River.  Make your way over the Ponte Santa Trinita, renowned for its sweeping arches and baroque statues, to discover this cherished riverside gem. Just beyond its doors, the view opens up to the Ponte alla Carraia, one of Florence’s oldest bridges. Inside, vibrant green pinstripe walls and the heady aroma of freshly churned gelato welcome you. Select from a palette of flavours like strawberry cheesecake, chocolate and hazelnut, or a bright burst of Sicilian orange - and wander outside. As you savour the cool sweetness of your gelato against the warm Tuscan sun, linger in this perfect, simple pleasure by the water’s edge. 

Experience the essence of Florence one scoop at a time - connect with Hotel Savoy’s concierge team to arrange your bespoke gelato tour. 

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