When in Rome Firenze...

...do as the Fiorentini do: eat gelato!Before I came to Firenze I discovered the annual gelato festival would be going on during my first few days in Italia.  While I knew these days would most likely be very busy and that I may not be able to go, I secretly had my fingers crossed in hopes that I would somehow make it there.  So when my host mom, Luigina, casually asked if I would like to go the gelato festival, I couldn't help but blurt of an affirmative "Si!"

two tickets one ticket to paradise!  1 card= 5 gusti (flavors) of gelato.  ohh yeahhhh.

The Firenze Gelato Festival features a slew of gelaterias from Firenze as well as other parts of Italia.  I didn't really have a strategy for selecting the five gelaterias of my choice-  I just walked up to the tents with the longest lines and made my way through the seas of aggressive and ravenous Italians.

Gelateria: Grom. Gusto: Pastiera napoletana

Creamy vanilla base.  Chunks of what seemed to be biscotti and candied citrus.  It is no secret that I am a Grom fanatic and thus I could not pass up paying the Grom booth a visit and trying a new flava-flav.

Gelateria: Il Procopio.  Gusto: Follia.

While I don't know exactly what this is, it had toasted almonds and swirls of caramels throughout.  This flavor definitely made my heart stop a beat.  So creamy with a texture more similar to ice cream.  And I liked it.  I liked it alot.

Gelateria: Triangolo delle Bermuda.  Gusto: Sorbetto che non c'è.

( and in case you were wondering, my nail color is "Italian Love Affair")

NERD ALERT!

I don't really know what the flavor name means but this slightly icy like a sorbetto but still lusciously creamy like gelato.  The flavor reminded me of a combination of fresh strawberry and strawberry-flavored Pez (?)  I love berry-flavored anything and if it weren't for the next flavor, I would have crowned this one my favorite.

Gelateria: Malotti.  Gusto: Crostata al sottobosco.

Mi piace.  Mi piace molto.  Super rich vanilla base with swirls of berry (raspberry/blueberry/blackberry) and chunks of vanilla wafer crust.  Nom nom nom.  For those not familiar, a crostata is a free-form version of a pie.  So this could be compared to blueberry pie or something like dat but in gelato form (!!!)

Gelateria: Andrea. Gusto: Yogurt Nutella. 

Probably my ideal flavor of gelato: yogurt is one of my all-time favorite flavors of gelato and nutella is my second favorite condiment (peanut butter will always have a big ol' piece of my heart).  I loved the chunks of hardened nutella.  Note to self: try to re-create this at home.  If I ever return. 

While this was very good, I would not say that it was my favorite of the day.   However, it was up against some stiff competition.

I enjoyed and savored every bite that passed my lips and I would gladly order any of these five flavors again.  But if I were forced to pick a favorite, it would be the Crostata al sottobosco.

Luigina wanted to make a cameo.  She got pignola (pine nut).  It was delicious. 

(And no, sorry, I don't know the name of her nail color.   Although to be honest I am very jealous that she can rock the blue at sixty/seventy-something. 

When my tongue had extracted every last bit of gelato from the final plastic cup, I shed a tear, and proceeded to walk home with Luigina and a belly full of gelato and joy.

And on our way we stopped by the Ponte Vecchio.  The perfect end to the perfect day.