Gelato in Milan
The food scene in Milan has been in rapid expansion, with original eateries and brand new dining solutions devised for an ever increasingly gentrified and demanding clientele. The offer is in fact dynamic, multi-faceted and spans the most diverse offers, from street food to haute cuisine, from foreign cookery to vegan menus. Not to mention the entire sweet world, with pastry shops, both classic and modern, avant-garde coffee shops and Anglo-Saxon style bakeries. In the warmer months, quality gelato becomes the best solution, especially with the many high level gelaterie. Milan boasts many fine gelato establishments; all focused on quality products, freshness of ingredients and careful production methods. The Gelaterie d'Italia guide by Gambero Rosso, in particular, has singled out 8 distinguished gelaterie, among the more historic and the recently opened.
Paganelli – Awarded 3 Cones
This is a historic Milan gelateria, founded in 1930 by Ugo Paganelli. For the last decade it has been in the caring hands of his grandson Francesco, a passionate artisan who has heralded the family name to the highest point of gelato stardom in Milan. His selection of ingredients and highly skilled technique and creativity are enviable. Patrons can taste different flavours that change daily, plus sorbets made with wine and seasonal fruits. Flavours change according to market availability and the gelato maker’s whim that day. The house specialty is the flavour called Principe, which is Venezuelan chocolate seasoned with coffee, star anise and cardamom. Classic mainstream flavours are equally enticing, and original combos star in the pistachio with chilli pepper; or the mascarpone cheese with caramelized figs.
Pavé – Gelati & Granite – Awarded 3 Cones
This gelateria owned by Diego Bamberghi, Giovanni Giberti and Luca Scanni, three partners of the Pavé group, one of the city’s best coffee bars. Pavé – Gelati & Granite is the second endeavour for this partnership trio. After the success of the shop located on via Casati, the trio has decided to invest in quality gelato. In the production facility is Simona Carmagnola. After years of experience working at Gelateria de' Coltelli in Pisa, the gelato maker decided to return to her native city to help out the boys in this project. Flavours range according to season and focus on reproducing in gelato version, all the classic local desserts and cakes, like sbrisolona, or buttered toast with jam, or tarte tatin. In the same display case are classics like pistachio, vanilla, hazelnut, in both gelato and sorbet form. There are also various granitas, such as coffee and Sicilian citrus, as well as homemade chocolate bars, biscotti and other Pavé delights.
Artico – Awarded 2 Cones
In the Isola neighbourhood, this venue is decorated with exposed bricks and the production area in plain view behind a large glass partition. Here Maurizio Poloni and his team work hard at creating fun flavours. There is Sicilian pistachio, walnut, almond and also pumpkin puree with amaretto biscuit crumble, or coffee with cardamom and meringue. In addition, a vast selection between mainstream and modern flavours, locals seasonal fruit and more. No preservatives or food colouring are used in this completely natural creamy and bold gelato. Do not miss the single origin 72% Araguani chocolate.
Ciacco – Awarded 2 Cones
The business is originally from Parma, but is opening more storefronts in Milan and Bergamo. For all the branches, Ciacco adopts the same philosophy based on the same principle: “Gelato and nothing more”, that is, without thickening agents, artificial colour, preservatives or flavours. Zero artificial additives and only prime quality ingredients go in the light and digestible gelatos. Creams play the starring role, in particular the almond flavour, pine nut and coffee, but the walnut and the cheesecake flavour too. This is made with robiola cheese and raspberry jam. For its vegan and lactose intolerant customers, Ciacco offers a completely lactose-free line of flavours. Think Sicilian blood orange sorbet, or strawberry from Basilicata, as well as all the granitas. There are also milkshakes, cakes and semifreddo.
Gelato Giusto – Awarded 2 Cones
Passionate foodie and holding a pastry diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in London, Vittoria Bartolazzo curates each and every gelato crafted at Gelato Giusto. This is one of the city’s most popular gelaterie. The flavours are well balanced, made with fresh seasonal ingredients and prime quality products. Among her creations may we highlight flavours such as ginger and lime; figs; ricotta and hazelnut; pumpkin and amaretto; banana sorbet and walnuts and chocolate. There are also a number of classic flavours, such as the ones made with nuts, like pistachio and hazelnut, in addition to all the fruit flavours.
Gusto 17 – Awarded 2 Cones
This gelateria has put all its efforts in offering a product behind which are ingredients sourced in nearby farms. Every week there are new flavours in the display case, in addition to classics like salted Sicilian pistachio. Always present are also a white bergamot cream, and “In..zuccata”, a pumpkin cream layered with sponge cake seasoned with San Marzano tomatoes and ground hazelnuts. In the Fall season the flavour not to be missed is pomegranate, which pairs wonderfully with cacao and chestnut.
LatteNeve –Awarded 2 Cones
Gelateria LatteNeve opened in 2014 and has chosen to use only organic ingredients, such as yogurt from Valtellina, or Igp hazelnuts from Piedmont. Pistachio from Bronte, chocolate (also available sans milk and dark), vanilla from Madagascar. In addition to these classics are also more creative flavours, like ricotta di bufala, mascarpone cheese and ginger, coffee-cardamom and the sugar-free Greek yogurt with honey. Fruit flavours are fresh and non-pretentious: peach, strawberry, mango coconut. The star is however the homemade whipped cream added for free on top of cones (also gluten-free) and cups.
Rigoletto – Awarded 2 Cones
Rigoletto opened 20 years ago in the luxury area between Wagner and Buonarroti. The gelateria has since multiplied its number of storefronts by three. What started as a small neighbourhood joint grew to become a citywide point of reference for Milan gelato-lovers thanks to the quality of ingredients and skill in preparation method. Favourite flavours are the many variations of chocolate: dark, white and orange-flavoured. There’s also a Napolitaner with sour cherries, rum raisin, mint and pine nut. Not to mention the seasonal products. From May to September granite take centre stage, all made with juicy seasonal fruit. Gelato aside, you can also purchase semifreddi for take-out, plus cakes and ice cream sandwiches in addition to an entire line of homemade chocolate bars.
Artico | Milan | via L. Porro Lambertenghi, 15 | tel. 0245 494698 | www.articogelateria.com/
Ciacco | Milan | via Spadari, 13 | tel. 0239 663592 | www.ciaccogelato.it/
Gelato Giusto | Milan | via San Gregorio, 17 | tel. 0229 510284 | gelatogiusto.it/
LatteNeve | Milan | via Vigevano, 27 | tel. 0239 811258 | www.facebook.com/Gelateria-Latteneve-783293678378154/
Paganelli | Milan | via Adda, 3 | tel. 0267 02751 | www.facebook.com/Gelateria-Paganelli-196886880490693/
Pavè Gelati e Granite | Milan | via Cesare Battisti, 21 | tel. 0294 383619 | www.pavemilano.com
Rigoletto | Milan | via San Siro, 2 | tel. 0249 81820 | www.gelateriarigoletto.it/
by Michela Becchi