Consuming copious amounts of gelato is one of my favorite activities in Italy, so it was a given I was going to spend some of my free time eating the best gelato in Bologna.
My mission was aided by my friends Michael and Stephanie of Bologna Living. They'd moved to the city about a year earlier.
Upon arriving, I briefly considered signing up for a gelato tour and tasting at the Carpigiani Gelato Museum.
But, it's located 35 minutes by bus from the city center, and I didn't want to give up the time required to get there and back.
Carpigiani began producing gelato machines in 1946.
In 2003, they opened Gelato University, a school that attracts people from around who want to learn the art of making high-quality gelato.
The Gelato Museum was opened in September 2012 to share the history of gelato and educate visitors.
The Best Gelato in Bologna
Cremeria Santo Stefano
Address: Via Santo Stefano 70, Bologna
The first gelateria my friends recommended was the small, cutely decorated Cremeria Santo Stefano.
It's not just rated one of the best gelato shops in Bologna but in the whole of Italy.
I stopped by to sample the goods several times during my brief stay and left the city feeling it was my favorite.
On one visit, I ordered a two-scoop cup of pistachio and chocolate.
Despite how thick, dense, and creamy gelato tends to be, it's healthier than ice cream because it contains less fat and fewer, oftentimes no, preservatives.
Cremeria Santo Stefano, for example, uses all natural ingredients and you can taste the difference.
I also think it's the better choice because the gelato is so rich, you're not left wanting to add extra toppings.
Frankly, one scoop is usually plenty. And I prefer it in a cup, so I'm not consuming the calories of a cone, either.
On another visit, Michael suggested I try the brioche con gelato, which is the Italian version of an ice cream sandwich.
I chose three flavors, including chocolate and vanilla. I can't recall the third, but the whole thing was a treat to eat.
Another bonus for eating gelato over ice cream is that gelato melts slower.
Even though my brioche con gelato looks like a potential mess in waiting, I was able to take my time while sitting outside in the sun and not have it drip all over me.
And as if all this fabulous gelato isn't enough, Cremeria Santo Stefano also makes some killer chocolate truffles. I couldn't resist buying a few.
Address: Via Castiglione 44 d/e, Bologna
Sorbetteria Castiglione was also recommended by my friends.
I dropped by their shop after I got back from my food and Ferrari tour of Emilia-Romagna.
The interior is more spacious than Cremeria Santo Stefano. However, it lacked some of the charms in terms of design and decor.
I always try a few flavors before ordering a full serving, but I have to admit I have my favorites and often stick to them.
One of those favorites being chocolate. And the other being mint.
I love the a mint chocolate combo, and Sorbetteria Castiglione delivers on taste and quality.
I mean just look at that photo above and tell me you don't want to eat that too!
Cremeria La Vecchia Stalla
Address: Via Toscana, 90/A, Bologna
On my last night, I tried my third and final gelateria, Cremeria La Vecchia Stalla.
I ordered the chocolate with rum and cookies 'n cream, which was drizzled with some chocolate sauce and served with a wafer.
This shop also had a refrigerator full of pre-made desserts for those who want something other than gelato.
Other Recommended Gelaterias in Bologna
Not surprisingly, eating gelato in Bologna was one of my favorite food experiences in Emilia-Romagna.
There were many more gelaterias that are highly recommended that I didn't get to visit.
If I return to Bologna, these are the places I'd check out next:
- Cremeria Funivia, Via Porrettana 158/4d, Bologna (over 3,000 reviews on TripAdvisor)
- Cremeria Scirocco, Via Agostino Barelli, 1, Bologna
- Galliera 49, Via Galliera, 49/B, Bologna
- Gelatauro, Via San Vitale 9, Bologna