There are many gelaterias in Italy that claim to be the very best. Some announce it on their shopfront – “No. 1 in Sienna”, or “Best Gelati in Roma”. Now I do not claim to have tried all of them, but I have had many serves of italian gelati – in Florence, Rome, Venice, Sorrento, Sienna. And I can safely say in my own little gelati-scoffing world – there is none better than La Sorbetteria Castiglione in Bologna.
In a humble location, quite a walk from the town centre of Bologna lies a very popular gelateria. According to Lonely Planet, long queues are the norm. We were lucky (well, sort of) because the weather was rather sucky (read: grey skies and drizzle) plus it was only 11am (not quite the regular gelati-eating time). Walking into the gelateria, there were none of those extravagant mounds of gelati with corresponding fruit or props indicating each flavour. Instead, you’ll choose from a list of flavours, and the server uncovers the aluminium covered containers and scoops out your chosen dolci. You wonder how the server remembers which container holds which flavour as they were all unlabeled, but she speedily whips those scoops out without a single mistake.
At the back of the store, you’ll see the area where these gelati are freshly churned each day. Big, shiny machines that make sweet, creamy magic.
I had the pistachio and white chocolate gelati. It was seriously the creamiest, smoothest, most delicious gelati I have ever had. None of the over sugary stuff – La Sorbettheria’s claim to fame is that they produce egg-free gelati. I didn’t know there were eggs in gelati to begin with but perhaps that was the winning factor. The pistachio flavour was evident and had a wonderful nutty aroma about it, the white chocolate was creamy and had crunchy bits of walnut (or at least I think it’s walnuts) and you could taste the milky white chocolate and it’s really not just vanilla pretending to be white chocolate.
Paul had the dark, white chocolate and espresso flavours. If you love chocolate, you’ll love this wonderful combination. They’re not kidding about it being ‘dark’ chocolate. Cocoa-rich and indulgent, with a slight bittersweet aftertaste. It was every choc-lover’s dream. And you can’t really go wrong with coffee based flavours in Italy I suppose.
Ever since I’ve had La Sorbetteria’s gelati, every other gelati has paled in comparison. I’ve been ruined.
La Sorbetteria Castiglione
Via Castiglione, 44
40124 Bologna, Italia