Italians didn’t invent the ice cream, but they certainly perfected the process over the centuries. The history of Italian gelato dates back to the Renaissance period, but who exactly created the creamy frozen dessert no one knows.
Most stories on this topic relate that gelato was invented at the court of the Medici, in Florence, either by Florentine architect and designer Bernardo Buontalenti or by the court’s alchemist Cosimo Ruggieri.
Nowadays, there are around 37,000 gelaterie throughout Italy, but some of the best are said to be found in Rome (I Caruso), Florence (La Carraia), and Bologna (La Sorbetteria Castiglione).
Real gelato is made daily by artisans, and, unlike regular ice cream, it contains less fat, less air, and much more natural flavoring. If you want to learn more about the history, culture, and technology of this velvety treat, go visit the Gelato Museum Carpigiani in Anzola dell’Emilia, near Bologna.