Everyday Gelato: Florence (2nd in a Series)

November 13, 2015

From Rome, we traveled to Florence. It is a more laid-back city with fewer tourists and I wish we had more time to stay longer. The entire city center, with all the tourist spots (except Piazzale Michelangelo which is 30 minutes away and not part of the city center anyway), is walkable. Not much gelato here since we only stayed a couple of days but there is an excellent Aglio e Olio 'round these parts.

Everyday Gelato Part 1 - Rome

Let me tell you a funny story. M and I climbed the Duomo. We lined up for almost two hours outside the entrance, endured two spasms of heavy rain under one tiny umbrella, and suffered through soaked tops and shoes in the cold. Five meters from the door and soaking wet, one conversation went like this (of course we talked in Filipino, but I've translated it to English here):

M: Let's just go back to the hotel and rest.
C: Can't you see? We're near the entrance already, it's going to be just a few more minutes.
M: But our clothes are already wet, my shoes are ruined, and we are cold.
C: All the more reason we should just wait to get in. It's going to be only a few more minutes. We've come this far, soaking wet and all. If we leave now, then we'd have wasted our time and energy for naught.

Halfway through the climb, our knees were shaking, we were muttering profanities under our noses, and obviously we were shit-scared. Imagine walking up a spiral staircase with nary a proper window, just the occasional 10x5 inch hole/window along the outer wall. Adding "insult to injury" were the people in front of us who kept farting(!!!) and the people behind us who kept wailing and cursing at the top of their lungs. Can you imagine??!!! Like, O.M.G. Imagine being trapped in  an enclosed spiral staircase with no fresh air whatsoever, breathing fart, and hearing a bunch of kids obnoxiously complaining about how f*cking scared they already are. NAKAKALOKA.

Anyway when we came out of the Duomo alive, pale like we had seen ghosts, with knees still shaking, we swore never to undergo such a terrifying ordeal again and I swore never to "convince" M to climb such a high edifice with me again. (Not too long before this trip,  I asked him to climb to the top of two waterfalls in Yosemite with me, after which I promised the same thing too, so who knows? Maybe next time I'll just go climb something alone, but he always refuses to let me, so whatever, we'll see.)

To calm our nerves, we went to get gelato. M was furious about the whole Duomo brouhaha so I thought maybe gelato can help with the peace and order situation of our honeymoon. Hehe.

Gelateria Grom

Upon the recommendation of a friend, we went to Grom, which he touted as the "best gelato in the world." Lucky for us, it was just around the corner of the cathedral so it was not difficult to find.

Grom's gelato was so smooth and creamy. The creamiest of all gelati that we had in this trip. I got three flavors - salted caramel, vanilla, and pistachio. Their salted caramel was one of a kind. It was not overpowering or in-your-face. The salted caramel was quite subtle. You feel/taste the velvety creaminess first and then the salted caramel comes through. The gelato containers were different from other gelaterie too - the gelati were covered, and their containers (cans) were very similar to what Manong Sorbetero in the Philippines uses. Too bad I was not able to take pictures. They also made extra effort to shape the gelato on the cone.

Their gelato was so good that we came back the next day but then the shop was still closed when we arrived. Boohoo. Oh and yes, their gelato helped save our Duomo/rain-stricken day.

Gelateria Grom
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Very smooth and creamy gelato with balanced flavors. Have a bottle of water ready though!

Salted caramel, pistachio.
10:30AM to 12:00AM
One block away from the Duomo.

Shake Cafe Gelateria Artigianale and Juice Bar

This gelateria was right beside the hotel that we stayed in so naturally, we had to try it. Their gelato was priced higher than average, probably because it was located in a prime location, but we were disappointed. Yes, the gelato was creamy but all the flavors we tried were very very sweet. The pistachio did not taste like pistachio and the gianduja tasted like sweetened Nutella.

The name on the board outside the gelateria says "artigianale" or artisanal so I had high expectations. Sadly, their gelato did not deliver.

Shake Cafe Gelateria Artigianale and Juice Bar
Our Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Creamy but very very sweet gelato.

7:00AM to 8:00PM
Stone's throw away from Piazza di Santa Maria Novella.

Aside from Grom, most of the gelateria on the "best gelato" lists off the internet were quite far from where we stayed (meaning we had to take a bus), so we passed up on them and chose to just rest and save our energy for Venice, our next stop.

Oh and before I forget, that Aglio e Olio pasta that I mentioned earlier was from Ristorante la Spada. We also had one of their bestselling beef dishes, I forgot the exact name but it was some kind of beef ribs and it was excellent too!

Ristorante La Spada

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