I feel kind of obliged to write a few things here and there about the city I spend the last three years in, now that the time has passed and the day I leave comes soon enough. So, as the four Italian Fs are food, fashion, furniture and Ferrari, is there a better start than food?
Gelato is a type of soft ice-cream that contains very few air bubbles and by statute, has to contain at least 3.5% butterfat, which is necessary for it to be as creamy. In Italia, most people know how a good homemade gelato should taste. The problem is that all have a different idea of what is truly important: there are those that put the creaminess in first place, those who pass the summers looking for a coffee gelato that is really bitter and those judging solely on the taste of liquorice. The search for the right one itself may take a long time and leave many people disappointed, yet undeniably the truth is one: no matter which, all the gelaterie (the gelato shops) are oasis in the desert of the hot city in summer, able to satisfy each with various creams. In Milan there are plenty, large and small, sometimes famous and sometimes known only to the inhabitants of the area. Here are 6 must-see gelaterie in Milano that should not be missing in the sightseeing plan of a real ice cream lover.
6. I gelati di Naninà
I gelati di Naninà (via Foppa, 56) is a place only working for a couple of years, but the three cheerful ladies who run it have already made note: their fruit ice cream, with a dash of milk, is among the most creamy in the city. Tastes change every week (if not every day) depending on their inspiration, so you could taste chocolate with aromatic rosemary, lemon and fragrant basil, fior-di-latte from buffalo milk, always with richness in both taste and service.
5. Cioccolati Italiani
Cioccolati Italiani (via De Amicis, 25 or the one near Piazza Duomo). There is always a line, but the bottom of the cone filled with melted chocolate (dark, milk or white) is without a doubt worth the wait. The types of gelato are almost all chocolaty, however, the difference between a sorbet and a 1794 Theobroma cacao Madagascar 71% is strongly felt. The gelato is never too cold: it is ideal to eat with a wafer spatula, only with the risk that it might drip in the hottest days.
4. Le botteghe di Leonardo
All artisan gelaterie should prepare the gelato a casa, which means that it should be done in the store itself with natural ingredients. Le Botteghe di Leonardo (Via Solari, 43 and via Borsieri, 11), despite being a part of a tiny chain, do everything in-house, including the waffles. Here, the enjoyment is guaranteed by trying out the various tastes of the month: lavender honey, pear, eggnog or marron glacé, combined with classics like chocolate sorbet.
3. Gelato Giusto
Gelato Giusto (via San Gregorio, 17) – even the name says it is the right one. It is the creation of the pastry shop Victoria Bortolazzo, which closely follows tastes. Luckily, it treats excellent tastes: the materials of the season and a lot of creativity lead to creations full of texture and tastes like matcha tea with raspberries, and pistachio with currants and cinnamon.
2. Il Massimo del Gelato
For chocolate lovers, Sapori (Via Castelvetro, 18) is spot-on. Ten or more tastes of cocoa in continuous variation, although the classics like chocolate with chili or gold leaf never fail, and cream with citrus aroma certainly not less. Unfortunately, no chocolate sorbet, as the creaminess and the density of the gelato are added with a dash of milk. The intolerant can confidently rely on the fruit flavours – fresh, tasty and balanced, made daily with seasonal ingredients.
1. La Gelateria della Musica
In the first place triumphs La Gelateria della Musica (via Pestalozzi, 4). It is out of reach from virtually any area of Milan that is not connected by the canals, and it is always crowded. A visit should be made compulsory, only to realise the untapped potential of the gelato: here you create undone symphonies of familiar tastes, always with great success. Who would have thought that pistachios could have so many variations, like toasted, raw, sweet or salty? That cardamom and ginger Christmas biscuit are also delicious in a white cream? Among the citrus ricotta, chocolate pink salt, the Stracciatella reverse and much more, you will realise that one visit is not enough and it might be better to take out a yearly subscription.