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Best Gelato in Cinque Terre

When I studied abroad in Italy, there was one splurge I always had money for: gelato. You know why? Because you can get good gelato for a euro or two and that doesn’t break the travel budget. It became custom for one of my roommates and I to cook the cheapest dinners we could before heading out for an evening walk with gelato. One euro. Two euros. Never more than three euros. We believed ourselves to be gelato aficionados, seeking the best of our favorite flavors and venturing all around Florence to find them.

I haven’t changed much. And, when it comes to gelato, that’s not a bad thing.

I set out on this trip to find the best gelato in Cinque Terre, happily scouring all the villages to find it. After months of a slow carb (no carb?) diet, I was more than happy to take one for the team to find the best gelato in Cinque Terre. I’ll count them down for you with the pros and the cons because there wasn’t a bad gelato, but there were some that were better than others. Sadly, this list is incomplete. Every time I tried to find gelato in Monterosso al Mare, they were closed. Blame the off-season. Blame my inability to get there before sunset (which is truly the most beautiful time of day in Monterosso al Mare), but I could not find a gelateria that could accommodate my wily schedule. I’m sure it’s easier in the summer.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terreP I N I T

Best Gelato in Cinque Terre

  1. No name gelateria on Via Colombo just past Bar Centrale (Riomaggiore) – 2 euro, small cone, Bacio (chocolate hazelnut) – After finding fantastic focaccia in Riomaggiore, I wanted the gelato to be good, too. Maybe I wanted it to be good because it was 2 euros. Maybe I wanted it to be good because I didn’t trust the other gelato stand. Or, maybe I wanted it to be good because it included plenty of hazelnuts. But, it just wasn’t as good as any of the others. It was a little icy. The cone was of the boxed variety and didn’t taste fresh at all.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; riomaggiore gelatoP I N I T

  1. 5 Terre Gelateria (Manarola) – 2.50 euro, small cone, Canella (cinnamon) and Nocciola (hazelnut) – Oh, I was so excited to see canella. Some 13 years ago, I found canella in a tiny alley in Venice and I’ve found it about three times since that night. It’s one of my favorite flavors. I wanted to love it and tell you it was the best gelato in Cinque Terre. And, the canella was good. The flavor was strong and robust. The nocciola had a rich flavor as well, but it was slightly icy. The cone was fresh, but the serving was skimpy.   Two thirds of my cone did not have any gelato, and that made for a very sad cone.

journey of doing - best gelato in Cinque TerreP I N I T

  1. Gelato Corniglia (Corniglia) – 2 euro, small cup, Miele (honey) – After I finished Alberto’s gelato, it seemed only appropriate to try the gelato from across the street. I sent my husband in with the directive to ask for the most popular flavor. He came back with miele (which included bits of walnuts) and neither one of us were entirely sure about it. Like Alberto, it was creamy but not quite as soft. The wafer pirouette wasn’t quite as fresh as Alberto’s, but overall, it was tasty. Alberto’s freshness allowed me to easily dub him the winner of this Sunday morning challenge, but both are great buys.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; gelato cornigliaP I N I T

  1. Gelato Alberto (Corniglia) – 2 euro, small cup, Nocciola (hazelnut) – Alberto’s gelato was soft and creamy with a subtle flavor that was not overpowering. The wafer was a nice (and delicious!) touch – fresh, flakey, and a strong taste of vanilla. I sat on the steps across the street and enjoyed watching children play.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; gelato alberto cornigliaP I N I T

  1. Gelateria Vernazza (Vernazza) – 2.50 euro, small cone, Gandiolo (chocolate with nuts) and Nocciola (hazelnut) – I conducted two separate taste tests on two separate days before I was willing to admit that this was the best gelato in Cinque Terre. The rich chocolate flavor of the gandiolo was the perfect complement to the strong flavor of the nocciola. Neither were overly sweet but both included plenty of nut pieces, which provided a nice texture change against the creamy consistency of the gelato. The generous serving size lasted well into the fresh, brittle cone, and I spent the next day trying to figure out how to get back to Vernazza to enjoy another cone. The best thing about Gelateria Vernazza though? It’s open later than all the other gelaterias along the main street, so you’ll be able to get your fix when you decide you need another one.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; gelateria vernazzaP I N I T

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; gelato vernazzaP I N I T



For more Cinque Terre planning, tips and tricks:

cinque terre trip planning, best place to stay in cinque terre

making pesto in cinque terre, wine tasting tour in cinque terre

best gelato in cinque terrewhy you need to stay in cinque terre

For more Cinque Terre photos:

manarola cinque terre photos – 2016, riomaggiore cinque terre postcard photos – 2016

cinque terre hike photos – 2016, monterroso al mare cinque terre postcard photos – 2016

vernazza cinque terre photos – 2016

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - I feel that you can tell just by looking at your cone from Gelateria Vernazza that it would be the best! They definitely didn’t skimp you on the gelato, and it looks delicious! That’s one of the things that I loved the most about Italy too, all of the amazing gelato that was all over the place!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - Excuse me while I hop on a plane! Yum.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Thanks for all of that hard work you put into taste testing gelato. Next time I go to Cinque Terre, I’ll be sure to refer to this post for where to go! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - This is crazy but the only place I’ve had gelato is South Africa! This looks delicious!!!ReplyCancel

  • La Brutta Figura - I absolutely love the seriousness with which you have taste tested these gelati, I think you should go professional. Also yum.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Hahah, this post is VERY important. I LOVE gelato, and I also would really like to visit Cinque Terre this summer. I am wondering – how did you get to Cinque Terre? Did you drive or train or fly?ReplyCancel

  • Jane @ Raincity Librarian - Droooooling….

    Taste-testing is serious business! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - When it comes to gelato, there’s only one flavour for me: melon, rockmelon, cantelope or melone. Depending on where I am.
    It’s the best! #WanderfulWednesdayReplyCancel

  • Christine Keane - Oh man, I ate gelato every day in Italy… and I have the waistline to show for it… or maybe it’s from all the carbs I ate? lol Can’t read more about your time in Cinque Terre!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa Brune - Awwww I love Italian ice-cream!! That’s basically what I miss about life in Norway most. We don’t have one traditional ice-cream parlour here in Tromso. I’m so spoiled by Germany where you can find Italian gelato in literally every town!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ruth | Tanama Tales - I love, love gelato! Your photos are so good. I do not know why but I have problems taking photos of ice cream and gelato. I am not sure if it is the way I grab it or what. Anyway, when in Italy I ate gelato once or twice daily. I mean, it is inexpensive and so delicious! #wanderfulwednesdayReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - Well this post is just full of PURE DELICIOUSNESS. It’s 9am and now I neeeed ice cream!ReplyCancel

  • Lolo - OOoh what could possibly be better than gelato AND Cinque Terre! #WanderfulWednesdayReplyCancel

  • Jessi (Two Feet, One World) - MMM gelato, definitely one of the best things about any trip to Italy! Thank you so much for putting in the hard yards to find the best in Cinque Terre, truly an immense public service effort 😉ReplyCancel

  • Nano @ Travel With Nano B. - Sara, first of all, what an indulgence. Sounds like you were on the most perfect mission in the world! My best friend is heading to Cinque Terre in June and I will share this post with her to make sure she checks out all the spots you recommend. Also, I found your web-site via Wanderlust Wednesday link-up and am swooning over your beautiful blog and photos (especially the shots taken in Florence!). Cannot wait to follow along your other travel adventures. xoxo, nano | http://www.travelwithnanob.comReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis - I’ve never had an authentic gelato but it looks delish especially for a warm sunny day! Cinque Terre was on our list of places to visit in Europe which isn’t happening this year but the husband was sold on spending a good portion of the vacation there. It looks beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld - Oh yummm, these all look heavenly! I just wouldn’t know how to choose 🙂 Yummy!ReplyCancel

  • Dolce Nina - Looks so yummy! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Sam | Away She Went - When we were in Italy a couple years ago we had gelato every single day. Good thing we did a lot of walking! Luckily there’s a gelato place down the street from us that’s run by an Italian family, so I can still get my gelato fix in Phoenix.ReplyCancel

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  • Why You Need to Stay in Cinque Terre » journey of doing - […] sometimes, I just need to stop.  We sat on our terrace and drank wine.  We sat on seawalls, ate gelato and watched the boats come into the harbor.  We sat on stairs and watched people (braver than us) […]ReplyCancel

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