7 Great Gelato Shops in the Mediterranean

by Sherri Eisenberg

7 Great Gelato Shops in the Mediterranean

by Sherri Eisenberg

Even if you can find great ice cream and gelato on your ship, sailing a Mediterranean itinerary gives you the opportunity to sample the best in the world while on land. Don’t just pick any place — even in gelato-loving countries you'll find spots serving scoops where the colors come from dyes and the flavors come from less-than-natural sources. Plan ahead and chart a path to a great spot before you dock in port to save yourself the disappointment — and ensure you have a heavenly taste of just how good this frozen treat can be. Here are a few of our favorites to hunt down on your next cruise:   

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Gelato in Prague / iStock.com / RSTurner
Il Gelato di San Crispino in Rome
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Il Gelato di San Crispino, Rome

You're going to want a treat after docking in Civitavecchia (the cruise port for Rome) and traveling into the city — as much as two hours by car, depending on rush-hour traffic. Make your way to this popular gelato spot near the Trevi Fountain as your reward. (You were going there anyway, right?)

The Scoop: Look for flavors using regional Italian ingredients, such as Sardinian honey gelato and Calabrian licorice ice cream. This spot also serves seasonal flavors, such as chestnut and rum raisin around the holidays, as well as sweet and tart fruit sorbets, including wild orange and Amalfi lemon with calvados.

Address: 42 Via della Panetteria, Rome

You're going to want a treat after docking in Civitavecchia (the cruise port for Rome) and traveling into the city — as much as two hours by car, depending on rush-hour traffic. Make your way to this popular gelato spot near the Trevi Fountain as your reward. (You were going there anyway, right?)

The Scoop: Look for flavors using regional Italian ingredients, such as Sardinian honey gelato and Calabrian licorice ice cream. This spot also serves seasonal flavors, such as chestnut and rum raisin around the holidays, as well as sweet and tart fruit sorbets, including wild orange and Amalfi lemon with calvados.

Address: 42 Via della Panetteria, Rome

Venci in Florence
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Venchi, Florence

Dock in Livorno and hop on a transfer to Florence for the day. If you’re organized — and you buy timed tickets in advance — you can see Michelangelo’s statue of David at the Accademia Gallery, admire the works by old masters at the Uffizi Gallery, shop for leather goods, and get some gelato, too. This shop is a short walk from the museums, so it’s easy to fit in a detour.

The Scoop: Sure, it has all sorts of flavors — from lemon to pistachio and even mascarpone with caramelized fig — but this place is all about the chocolate. Choose from milk, dark, extra dark, or with hazelnuts.

Address: 18 Via Calimaruzza, Angolo Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, Florence

Dock in Livorno and hop on a transfer to Florence for the day. If you’re organized — and you buy timed tickets in advance — you can see Michelangelo’s statue of David at the Accademia Gallery, admire the works by old masters at the Uffizi Gallery, shop for leather goods, and get some gelato, too. This shop is a short walk from the museums, so it’s easy to fit in a detour.

The Scoop: Sure, it has all sorts of flavors — from lemon to pistachio and even mascarpone with caramelized fig — but this place is all about the chocolate. Choose from milk, dark, extra dark, or with hazelnuts.

Address: 18 Via Calimaruzza, Angolo Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, Florence

Gelateria Alaska in Venice
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Gelateria Alaska, Venice

Venice is one of the greatest cities in the world to reach by boat. Be sure to grab a place on deck to watch as your ship arrives in town, right near the popular Piazza San Marco. Then, take a 20-minute stroll to this ice cream shop.

The Scoop: Known for fresh, bright flavors, Alaska’s gelato has a serious following, though you can also find more unusual savory ice creams such as basil, fennel, and artichoke.

Address: 1158 Calle Largo dei Bari, Santa Croce, Venice

Venice is one of the greatest cities in the world to reach by boat. Be sure to grab a place on deck to watch as your ship arrives in town, right near the popular Piazza San Marco. Then, take a 20-minute stroll to this ice cream shop.

The Scoop: Known for fresh, bright flavors, Alaska’s gelato has a serious following, though you can also find more unusual savory ice creams such as basil, fennel, and artichoke.

Address: 1158 Calle Largo dei Bari, Santa Croce, Venice

Morelli's in Monte Carlo
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Morelli’s Gelato, Monte Carlo

Located in the most iconic square in Monaco, next to the famous casino, this gelateria makes a perfect rest stop on a day spent wandering up and down the hills of this gorgeous port.

The Scoop: This spot is known for sundaes rather than scoops or cones. Get yours topped with hot fudge, strawberry sauce, or crumbly meringue. For the gelato itself (which is made daily), look for Alphonso Mango, Bronte pistachio, or the tart wildberry — a blend including red currants and black currants.

Address: Café de Paris, Casino Square, Monte Carlo

Located in the most iconic square in Monaco, next to the famous casino, this gelateria makes a perfect rest stop on a day spent wandering up and down the hills of this gorgeous port.

The Scoop: This spot is known for sundaes rather than scoops or cones. Get yours topped with hot fudge, strawberry sauce, or crumbly meringue. For the gelato itself (which is made daily), look for Alphonso Mango, Bronte pistachio, or the tart wildberry — a blend including red currants and black currants.

Address: Café de Paris, Casino Square, Monte Carlo

Fenocchio in Nice
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Fenocchio, Nice

Just a short walk from Nice’s cruise ship terminal, past the market and through the Old Town, this ice cream shop is in Place Rossetti, thought by some to be the prettiest square — with the prettiest fountain — in town. On a Western Mediterranean sailing, it’s a lovely place to spend a warm afternoon after several days of heavy sightseeing itineraries.

The Scoop: Think of this shop as the original “31 flavors” — but it actually has many more than that. The choices range from the silly (chewing gum, jelly beans) to the floral (violet, orange blossom) and the surprising (avocado, olive, thyme) to the boozy (amaretto, Baileys, Grand Marnier). With all the choices, we suggest the local flavors: honey with pine nuts or the almond-scented Calisson.

Address: 2 Place Rossetti, Nice

Just a short walk from Nice’s cruise ship terminal, past the market and through the Old Town, this ice cream shop is in Place Rossetti, thought by some to be the prettiest square — with the prettiest fountain — in town. On a Western Mediterranean sailing, it’s a lovely place to spend a warm afternoon after several days of heavy sightseeing itineraries.

The Scoop: Think of this shop as the original “31 flavors” — but it actually has many more than that. The choices range from the silly (chewing gum, jelly beans) to the floral (violet, orange blossom) and the surprising (avocado, olive, thyme) to the boozy (amaretto, Baileys, Grand Marnier). With all the choices, we suggest the local flavors: honey with pine nuts or the almond-scented Calisson.

Address: 2 Place Rossetti, Nice

Vanille Noir in Marseille
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Vanille Noire, Marseille

This creative little “artisan glacier” takeaway shop, near Marseille’s Hotel Dieu, specializes in handcrafted gelato without additives, made every day, including Sunday.

The Scoop: The famed “black vanilla” — which is actually black and spiked with sea salt — is what drives people to the shop time and time again. You can also choose praline, marzipan, mint leaf, or toasted coconut. Sorbet flavors are bright and take advantage of the season: Think country apricot and strawberry.

Address: 13 Rue Caisserie, Marseille

This creative little “artisan glacier” takeaway shop, near Marseille’s Hotel Dieu, specializes in handcrafted gelato without additives, made every day, including Sunday.

The Scoop: The famed “black vanilla” — which is actually black and spiked with sea salt — is what drives people to the shop time and time again. You can also choose praline, marzipan, mint leaf, or toasted coconut. Sorbet flavors are bright and take advantage of the season: Think country apricot and strawberry.

Address: 13 Rue Caisserie, Marseille

Gelaaati! Di Marco in Barcelona
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Gelaaati! Di Marco, Barcelona

Like in Venice, Barcelona's cruise ship terminal is right at the foot of the city — in this case, at the end of Las Ramblas, the main boulevard. You’ll want to wander around the Barri Gotic, the old Gothic quarter (home to gorgeous dark and winding streets), the Picasso Museum, great little counters serving churros and chocolate … and Gelaaati Di Marco, an artisan ice cream shop.

The Scoop: Marco caters to everyone — you’ll find low-sugar, lactose-free, and gluten-free choices — but it’s hard to resist his combination flavors, such as a coconut-dark chocolate and peach-Champagne. Gorgonzola with pear and walnut jam? Be sure to try it and let us know how that goes.

Address: 7 Carrer de la Libreteria, Barcelona

Like in Venice, Barcelona's cruise ship terminal is right at the foot of the city — in this case, at the end of Las Ramblas, the main boulevard. You’ll want to wander around the Barri Gotic, the old Gothic quarter (home to gorgeous dark and winding streets), the Picasso Museum, great little counters serving churros and chocolate … and Gelaaati Di Marco, an artisan ice cream shop.

The Scoop: Marco caters to everyone — you’ll find low-sugar, lactose-free, and gluten-free choices — but it’s hard to resist his combination flavors, such as a coconut-dark chocolate and peach-Champagne. Gorgonzola with pear and walnut jam? Be sure to try it and let us know how that goes.

Address: 7 Carrer de la Libreteria, Barcelona

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