Who doesn't like gelato?! I love it, but it's not easy to find high quality gelato in Italy during the winter time. Most of the places that are open, are not good. I’m highlighting three places with a high quality gelato during my recent trip
Matta just opened when I returned to Lucca in February. Went back two days in a row for fiore di latte/chocolate combo, then a triple of hazelnut/pistachio/crema. Nice density and creaminess on par with the Ferrara gelato. The other gelato location open in Lucca during the winter is Grom, which isn’t much of a gelato to write home about.
Outstanding density. No air, no ice crystals. They have a portable commercial mixer on premises and scoop the gelato directly out of the mixer. I saw the process at Rizzati and the machine and ingredients were the same I used when I made gelato in Florence. I had almond gelato and it was some of the best I've had.
Venchi is near the Mercado di Mezzo in Bologna. Pistachio, which is not my normal selection was a winner. The color is actually what attracted me; it was not neon green like so many gelato places, it was slightly brown or olive tinted, which is what happens when you grind whole pistachio. Great scoop.
Much of the inferior gelato I had this trip was light and airy, not dense and rich like the ones I highlighted above. Are the inferior gelato places whipping the gelato to fast? Are they cutting some corner? Who knows. Many of the inferior places are chain stores or getting the gelato from some commissary, rather than making it onsite.