Siena, like most of Tuscany, is famous for wine, meat, pasta and amazing ice cream. Packed in this city are several ice cream parlours all vying to be the freshest, most artisan, and creative gelaterie. So when you find yourself in this charming, historical city and you are hankering for some gelato, avoid the over-priced tourist traps and treat yourself at these reasonably priced, high-quality finds.
The tourist who stumbles across this hole in the wall will be rewarded with one of the best ice creams in Tuscany, and perhaps the whole of Italy. La Vecchia Latteria may seem modest, with an interior and display that doesn’t compare to other ice cream parlors in the city; but the richness and creaminess of its flavors can hardly find a match elsewhere. La Vecchia prides itself on using the freshest and most natural ingredients, meaning new ice cream flavours are made daily and you never know quite what delicious variety to expect. To the side of the ice cream display there is also a window that shows the ice cream being made.
The delicious Nannini gelateria is one of the most creative and satisfying in Siena. Being inside a restaurant, it may not be as visible to the average tourist, but whoever manages to venture inside will surely come back for more. There is a huge variety of flavours, including some creative mixes: penguino is Nutella-like chocolate with cream and vanilla mixed in. For the lover of chocolate, however, it does not end there, for Nannini has many other wonderful flavours to sample. When you are searching for this gem, be careful; Nannini is a popular Siennese name and you might accidentally find yourself strolling into the flashy Nannini pasticceria nearby; however, this is the place to be.
Many travelers to Italy will know about Grom, as it is an ice cream chain found in most major Italian cities, as well as several cities abroad. Although it is not unique to Siena, anyone who has been will tell you that it is certainly worth a visit. The philosophy of Grom is to use only the freshest ingredients, avoiding all things artificial. Thus all the milk and eggs used contribute to a unique creaminess, and the fruits involved are seasonal and sweet. The ice cream flavours themselves are not on display, but rather hidden by metal covers; this in itself is an assurance of their freshness. Grom is right in the city centre, so make sure you head over once in Siena.
Though Il Bacio is not in the walled centre of the city, a five minute trip outside the walls is worth it for this fantastic ice cream place. You can tell it’s good because it’s favored by the locals. The prices are reasonable and the excellent taste of the ice cream reflects quality and artisanal skill. Il Bacio also offers a variety of ice cream flavours that is difficult to find elsewhere, one of the best is meringue, but you should also try the place’s namesake, bacio, which refers to a delicious Italian chocolate with a hazelnut inside. Whatever you try, there is little doubt you will be delighted.
A Siennese student favorite, Gelateria Kopakabana is a fairly cheap and lively place to enjoy delicious ice cream. Found a bit off the tourist track but still within the historic centre, it offers endearing Italian hospitality that will make you want to come back for more. Of course, so will the ice cream, for quality is always a priority in this charming place. Apart from mastering the usual flavors, Kopakabana has also created over 200 of its own originals, so there is always something new to treat yourself to. The amount of locals and students that hang around can vouch for its quality, so don’t forget this gelateria.