Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gelato a Venezia

Gelato in Venezia is everywhere! It's light, it's delicious, and it comes in one flavor--at least as far as I'm concerned. Why eat anything other than stracciatella, that creamy white vanilla gelato laced with thick chocolate shavings?

Nancy is far more of an omnivore when it comes to gelato flavors, and I have to admit, she picked some tasty ones like pistachio, Crema del Doge, terramisou, chocolatta, and coffee flavors. But, when it came time to put scoop to cone, I was as boring as boring could be. But oh my, that stracciatella! See it on the left, there?

Different gelato dealers pile their wares in characteristically shaped mounds with decorative swirls. Of course, the more popular dealers work their way through those mounds quickly, so one tries to avoid full trays of gelato that look a little melty--they've been there for a while and maybe the dealer's product isn't so good.

Gelato prices vary with location in Venezia and the map to the left gives the approximate isolines of prices. Within the red, the treat generally costs more than € 2.50 or € 3.00. Between the red and yellow, the price drops to € 1 to € 1.50 per scoop, but many stands impose a 2 scoop minimum. Outside the yellow you can happily enjoy 1 scoop in a cone for € 1. "Per favore, uno palina di stracciatella. Grazie!"

A tip: Il Pinguino on the Riva degli Schiavoni near the bridge to the Arsenale offers the € 1.50 per scoop (1 scoop OK) price within the red zone, and the stracciatella is great! Can't say about the other flavors...

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