Experiencing Gelato in the Dolomites: A Food Tourist’s Guide


Italy is known for its incredible cuisine, and one of the most beloved treats is gelato. While gelato can be found throughout the country, there is something special about experiencing it in the Dolomites. The Dolomites, a mountain range in northeastern Italy, not only offer breathtaking scenery but also a unique gelato experience. In this food tourist’s guide, we will explore the history of gelato, the art of gelato making, and the best gelaterias to visit in the Dolomites.

The History of Gelato

Gelato has a long and rich history in Italy. It is believed to have originated in Sicily during the 16th century. The first gelato was made using snow from Mount Etna, mixed with fruit juices and sweeteners. Over time, gelato evolved, and new flavors and techniques were introduced.

Gelato differs from traditional ice cream in several ways. It is made with a higher proportion of milk to cream, resulting in a lower fat content. Gelato is also churned at a slower speed, which incorporates less air and gives it a denser texture. These factors contribute to gelato’s smooth and creamy consistency.

The Art of Gelato Making

Making gelato is considered an art form in Italy. It requires skill, precision, and high-quality ingredients. Gelato makers, known as gelatieri, carefully select their ingredients to ensure the best flavors. Fresh fruits, nuts, and chocolate are commonly used to create a wide variety of gelato flavors.

The process of making gelato involves heating the milk and sugar mixture, then adding the desired flavors. The mixture is then cooled and churned in a gelato machine to achieve the perfect texture. Gelato is typically served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, allowing the flavors to be more pronounced.

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Experiencing Gelato in the Dolomites

The Dolomites offer a unique setting to indulge in gelato. The region is known for its picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and rich culinary traditions. When visiting the Dolomites, there are several gelaterias that should not be missed.

One of the top gelaterias in the Dolomites is Gelateria Artigianale, located in the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo. This gelateria is known for its artisanal gelato, made with locally sourced ingredients. The flavors range from classic favorites like pistachio and chocolate to unique combinations such as lavender and honey. Gelateria Artigianale also offers vegan and gluten-free options, ensuring that everyone can enjoy their gelato.

Another must-visit gelateria in the Dolomites is Gelateria Scoiattolo, located in the town of Canazei. This family-owned gelateria has been serving gelato since 1957 and is a beloved spot among locals and tourists alike. The gelateria offers a wide selection of flavors, including traditional Italian favorites like stracciatella and tiramisu. The gelato is made fresh daily, ensuring the highest quality and flavor.

For those looking for a more adventurous gelato experience, Gelateria Flamingo in Bolzano is the place to go. This gelateria is known for its innovative flavors, such as basil and lemon, rosemary and peach, and even balsamic vinegar. Gelateria Flamingo takes pride in using only natural ingredients and creating unique flavor combinations that surprise and delight customers.


Experiencing gelato in the Dolomites is a must for any food tourist. The combination of stunning scenery, rich culinary traditions, and high-quality gelato make for an unforgettable experience. Whether you choose to visit Gelateria Artigianale in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Gelateria Scoiattolo in Canazei, or Gelateria Flamingo in Bolzano, you are sure to be treated to some of the best gelato in Italy. So, the next time you find yourself in the Dolomites, be sure to indulge in this delicious Italian treat and savor every spoonful.

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