The greatest gelato in the world!
Eating the "World’s Best Gelato” on a random weekend in February? Count me in!
Exactly a month into my abroad experience, the group and I felt that it was time to participate in a bit of exploration around Tuscany, outside of our city of Siena. 6 Euro and an hour long bus ride later, the group and I found ourselves in the quaint wine village known as San Gimignano.
Yeah, I couldn’t pronounce it either at first.
Recommended by our program director, Elena, and many of our Italian roommates, we decided the quick trip would be best reserved for a free weekend. As it was the first week in February, the weather was starting to warm up ever so slightly, and the sun was beginning to shine far more than it had in the past month making it the perfect time to go. When we arrived to San Gimignano, the air was warm and we immediately set out for the winding streets, browsing and exploring without a plan.
Elena explained a bit of San Gimignano's history to us, as it is famously known as a medieval hill town along the Via Francigena (the ancient road and pilgrim route that attached Rome to France) with characteristic towers built in the 13th century by noble families. She also informed us that San Gimignano was home to the “best gelato in the world.”*
*From 2006- 2009
Cue the gasp.
So we knew we had to go as a group. The five of us were very different, and so we took opportunities like this to bond, especially over mealtimes and snacks! San Gimignano was the perfect place to do just that, and after an incredible meal at Echoes bruschetteria, we took to the streets once again to find something sweet to conclude our mission in the picturesque village. After trekking up the windy hills exploring, ascending the ancient towers and laying out in the sun in a garden we stumbled upon, we started to get quite warm and shed our jackets and sweaters.
Everyone knows there is only one sensible way to cool down in Italy after spending the afternoon basking in the sun.
Gelato, ladies and gentlemen.
But not just any gelato, it was time for us to try the best gelato in the world!
In Piazza della Cisterna, signs line the outside of Gelateria Dondoli, or Gelateria di Piazza, proudly displaying their coveted achievement of serving the best gelato in the world. If you are passing through Tuscany, I highly suggest stopping in San Gimignano simply for this gelato, and no, they are not paying me to say this. (Although I would most certainly accept a lifetime supply of free gelato!)
The gelato is produced every day with the freshest ingredients, and the variety of classic and unconventional flavors give strong reasoning for why this gelateria took home the world cup of ice creams. As a usual chocolate or nocciola eater, I decided to stray from the usual and order something special, a unique flavor that would contribute to this memorable experience.
I ordered a cup of pink grapefruit spumante (like champagne) gelato, and I will never forget the sweet fragrance and the rose pink color of the gelato.
We all tried each other’s flavors, but I was so in love with mine I do not even remember what the others ordered. We ate our gelato in the piazza, took a million pictures documenting the moment, and simply enjoyed the greatest reward a traveler in Italy could receive, a cup of the best gelato in the world.