Skip to content

The 8 Best Gelato Shops in Bologna in 2024

Warning: Once you eat the best gelato in Bologna, Italy, your understanding of gelato will change forever. You will never be able to go back to the life you had before. You will forever crave the gelato you ate while in Bologna. You will long for the day you can return to Bologna just to eat the gelato. You have been warned.

No one does gelato like the Italians. And nowhere in Italy does gelato like Bologna.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. We earn a small commission on every purchase made at no extra cost to you.

Located in the heart of Emilia Romagna, Bologna is home to over 100 gelaterias. It also plays residence to the Gelato Museum and Gelato University, where students study the art, science, and craft of making the world’s very best gelato. Combine that and a passion for world-class food with access to Italy’s finest ingredients, and you have the perfect recipe for a gelato haven.

Tucked beneath the city’s porticos, you’ll find a gelato shop on nearly every corner. However, all of those options can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed wondering which gelato shop is best?

After having spent over 6 weeks in Bologna with the sole purpose of eating the best gelato and food in the city, we are confident that we’ve discovered the best gelato Bologna has to offer.

Here is our curated a list of the best gelato in Bologna, so you can leave knowing you’ve experienced the best gelato in the entire world.

The Best Gelato in Bologna

In no particular order, here are the 8 best gelato shops in Bologna, Italy that you cannot go wrong with. Make sure you scroll to the end – we’re sharing our #1 favorite gelato shop in Bologna.

1. Cremeria Santo Stefano

This unassuming gelateria might just be the best gelato shop in all of Italy – and hence, the world. Located just up the street from the famous Santo Stefano church complex, the first thing you see as you head to this shop is the winding line of people through the porticos as they anxiously await their gelato.

The gelato at Cremeria Santo Stefano is made fresh every day, using the highest quality ingredients that result in a rich, creamy texture and intense, natural flavors. The result is a product that is not only delicious but also visually stunning.

While the options here are relatively few compared to other gelato shops, each flavor has been perfected. This is one shop where you truly cannot go wrong with any flavor. Having said that, we still think that these flavors are even a cut above the rest.

  • Caffe Bianco – This might be our personal favorite gelato of all time. The gelato base is infused with high quality coffee beans to create this delicate and creamy coffee flavor. The Caffe Bianco from Cremeria Santo Stefano is not just a dessert, it’s an experience
  • Pomegranate – This sorbet is light, refreshing, and tastes like you’ve just cracked open a ripe pomegranate.
  • Crema Libanese – This flavor is inspired from Lebanese flavors that combine orange blossom water, almond, and pistachio.
  • Crema delle Zitelle – This twist on the classic crema flavor mixes mascarpone cream and pine nut for a truly divine taste.

With new flavors coming out all the time, we recommend you go with your gut, and come back two or three times to try all the flavors!

Our gelato flavor recommendations: Caffe Bianco, Pomegranate, Crema Libanese, Crema delle Zitelle.
Address: Via Santo Stefano, 70/c, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy
Find store hours and more information here.

2. La Sorbetteria Castiglione

One bite into your gelato at La Sorbetteria Castiglione, and you’ll know you’ve arrived in gelato heaven. Creamy and rich in flavor, and ready to drip right off your cone, you’ll realize why La Sorbetteria is one of the most loved gelaterias in all of Bologna.

Two must try flavors include their signature Crema Michelangelo and Crema Elixir.

  • Crema Michelangelo – A rich gelato made of amaretti, caramelized almonds, and cacao – made of only the finest ingredients.
  • Crema Elixir – Made from mascarpone, eggs, and a sweet San Marzano liqueur with perfectly caramelized pine nuts, Crema Elixir is the perfect salve for your tastebuds.

Along with those options, La Sorbetteria Castiglione offers some of the best traditional gelato flavors including pistachio, tiramisu, hazelnut, stracciatella, and crema bolognese.

Our gelato flavor recommendations: Crema Michelangelo, Crema Elixir, Crema Bolognese, Pistachio
Address: Via Castiglione 44 d / e Bologna – 40124-BO
Find store hours and more information here.

3. Gelateria Galliera 49

Located in the heart of Bologna, Gelateria Galliera 49 is easy to find as you’ll see a line winding out of the porticos and into the street.

You cannot go wrong with any of their gelato flavors, but we’d highly recommend trying their granitas – a semi-frozen dessert similar to a snowcone, but 100 times better than that, originated in Sicily. And honestly, Gelateria Galliera 49 might make the best granita outside of Sicily.

We recommend trying their almond and pistachio granitas, and they will not disappoint. They also serve seasonal fruit flavors that provide a refreshing, less heavy feel on a nice summer’s day.

Another strong pairing if you’re lucky enough to be traveling in season is the sheep’s milk ricotta and coffee granita. It may not sound appetizing at first, but trust us, you’ll want to keep coming back for more.

If you’re really in the mood for a delicious treat, or traveling with a partner, we’d highly recommend one person ordering a granita and the other ordering a gelato so you can share in the goodness of Gelateria Galliera 49 together.

Our flavor recommendations: Sheep’s Milk Ricotta, Coffee, Almond, Pistachio
Address: Via Galliera, 49/b, 40121 Bologna BO, Italy 
Find store hours and more information here.

4. Cremeria Cavour

One thing you’ll notice about the gelato you buy in Bologna is that it looks unlike any gelato you’ve bought before. Not only does it taste more delicious than any gelato you’ve ever had, but it looks more delicious than any gelato you’ve ever seen.

As if sculpted by renaissance artists, the gelato in Bologna will make you hungry the moment you see it. This is especially true at Cremeria Cavour. You’ll see one picture of their gelato and you’ll instantly know that you need to try it.

Cremeria Cavaur is always updating their flavors according to the season, but they keep some tried and true specials on hand that they have perfected, which is why we think they have some of the best gelato in Bologna.

Here are some of their flavors we highly recommend:

  • Cioccolato e Rhum (Chocolate and Rum) – Made with Jamaican rum and chocolate chips. The rich chocolate flavor is lifted by the rum to give it a light and balanced taste.
  • 50 Special – The flavor is reminiscent of Tiramisu, which makes sense since it is made with coffee mascarpone and terina pie. Pairs nicely with the Cioccolato e Rhum flavor.
  • Cavour – A namesake of Cremeria Cavour made with ricotta cheese, Amalfi lemons, and shortcrust pastry.
  • Il Gigante – A flavor made of pine nut cream and toasted pine nuts. We recommend you ask them to fill your cone with chocolate if you go with this flavor.

As a final tip, we recommend getting their chocolate cone instead of the traditional cone as it will pair nicely with your gelato of choice. Then, order your gelato, walk across the street, and sit in the beautiful park while you eat your gelato.

Our flavor recommendations: Cioccolato e Rhum, 50 Special, Cavour, Il Gigante
Address: Piazza Cavour, 1/de, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy

Find store hours and more information here.

5. Il Gelatauro

If you venture over near the modern university campus and you have a craving for gelato, stop by Il Gelatauro. Their flavors are smooth and delicious. We recommend trying out their signature sicilian flavors – Regno delle Due Sicilie and Cannolo Siciliano to pair together for a nice balance!

Some of their other must-try flavors include:

  • Orange Chocolate (Cioccolato all’Arancia) – Made with fresh oranges from Calabria and Sicily
  • Pumpkin and Cinnamon (Zucca e Cannella) – A seasonal flavor that’s perfectly warm and spiced. And yes, pumpkin is a delicious gelato flavor.
  • Principe di Calabria – A floral flavor made of bergamot and jasmine.

Our flavor recommendations: Regno delle Due Sicilie, Cannolo Siciliano, Zucca e Cannella, Principe di Calabria
Via S. Vitale, 98b, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy
Find store hours and more information here.

6. Delizie Bolognesi

If you are looking for a great vegan or lactose-free gelateria, look no further than Delizie Bolognesi. Offering a wide selection of milk-free flavors (in addition to traditional milk-based gelato options), Delizie Bolognesi is the perfect spot to satisfy your gelato cravings. And while they do offer a selection of vegan flavors, they also produce plenty of incredible, unique, and milky flavors.

Scooping up over 20 flavors, we recommend trying gelato in a brioche bun. It may not be what you traditionally think of when you order ice cream, but a gelato brioche is an experience worth having, and we think you will be delighted.

Popular flavors at Delizie Bolognesi you won’t want to miss include Gianduia, Ricotta Reale, and Cupido.

Our flavor recommendations: Gianduia, Ricotta Reale, Cupido
Address: Via Riva di Reno, 76/f, 40122 Bologna BO, Italy

Find store hours and more information here.

7. Cremeria Scirocco

Situated far outside of the old city center, a gelateria making some of the best gelato in Bologna is at the forefront of creating playful, creative, and delicious flavor profiles that will make you want to come back time and time again.

Since opening in 2004, Cremeria Scirocco has won numerous awards for its artisanal gelato flavors thanks to the mind of owner Andrea Bandiera.

Due to its location outside of the city center, you may not have the time to visit Cremeria Scirocco if you are in a time crunch. However, if you have some free time and want to go on a little day trip to experience some of the best gelato in Bologna (if not in Italy), we recommend you hop on the bus or get in your car so you can experience some of the most unique flavors that you won’t find anywhere else.

Some of the unique gastronomic flavors they have sold in the past, include Pecorino and Honey of Thun, Pumpkin and Black Pepper, Tuna and Onion, Ricotta and Capers, Gorgonzola Cheese and Walnuts, Parmesan and Dried Figs, and Ricotta and Mortadella.

But don’t let these imaginative flavors steer you away. One of their best and most award winning gelato flavors is their Almond and Gorgonzola (Mandorle al Gorgonzola). The bitter almond flavor binds to the gorgonzola for your initial taste, but don’t fear, it’s neither too bitter, nor is the gorgonzola too strong. At the end, you are left with the sweet aromatic flavor of almonds.

Cremeria Scirocco is always coming up with new flavors, so we recommend trying seasonal flavors when you visit, but if want some other suggestions we also recommend the following:

  • Nocciolato Jivara – a light hazelnut chocolate flavor with hints of caramel, vanilla, and malt. You can think of it as a new take on Nutella.
  • Essenza di Cioccolato – as the name suggests, this flavor is a sorbet and contains no cream, which is quite unusual for a chocolate flavor. The flavor is dark and intense, and you’d never know you were eating a sorbet vs. a cream based gelato.
  • Scirocco – The namesake of the shop, the Scirocco is a delicate eggnog flavor embellished with delicious cake.

Our flavor recommendations: Mandorle al Gorgonzola, Nocciolato Jivara, Essenza di Cioccolato, Scirocco
Address: Via Agostino Barelli, 1c, 40138 Bologna BO, Italy

Find store hours and more information here.

8. Cremeria San Francesco

The last gelateria on our list gets its name from the 13th century gothic basilica that sits across the piazza. Located within a small shop under the portico’s, we think Cremeria San Francesco has some of the best gelato in Bologna for it’s fresh and delightful ingredients.

They offer a variety of flavors for anyone, including vegan, milk-free, and egg-free flavors so everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions, can enjoy!

We recommend trying a few of their seasonal sorbet flavors, each of which taste natural and feel refreshing on a warm day. Some of their sorbet flavors include Pear, Ginger and Citrus Fruits, Strawberry Grapes and Blackberries, and Pumpkin and Persimmon Cream. Try mixing and matching a few flavors to pair them well.

A couple of gelato flavors we recommend are:

  • Par-Tot – If you are looking for something a little creamier, you may want to venture out and order their Par-Tot, a smooth gelato made of mascarpone cream and chocolate cake.
  • Gianduiotto – If you are in the mood for a traditional flavor, try their Gianduiotto, a hazelnut flavor typical of the Piedmont region that contains a subtle hint of chocolate as well.

One of our all-time favorites here is their Apricot and Chocolate. The apricots taste like they’ve just been picked off the tree and the chocolate chunks and a crunchy texture to balance out the smoothness of the gelato. While their flavors are always changing, we are sure you’ll be satisfied with whatever flavors you pick.

Our flavor recommendations: Apricot and Chocolate, Pear, Gianduiotto, Par-Tot (many flavors are seasonal and may not be available year round).
Address: Piazza San Francesco 1/b, 40122, Bologna Italy

Find store hours and more information here.

Our Favorite Gelato in Bologna

Wondering where to get the best gelato in Bologna? Here is our ranking of the best gelato shops, the best being #1.

  1. Cremeria Santo Stefano
  2. Cremeria Cavour
  3. Cremeria Scirocco
  4. La Sorbetteria Castiglione
  5. Gelateria Galliera 49
  6. Il Gelatauro
  7. Cremeria San Francesco
  8. Delizie Bolognesi

Cremeria Santo Stefano takes the #1 spot for the best gelato in Bologna. After going to this gelato shop time and time again, we were constantly blown away by the rich flavors and smooth texture. If you only have the chance to go to one gelato shop in Bologna, this is the one you should go to.

Map of the Best Gelato in Bologna

Here is a map of the 8 best gelato shops in Bologna. If you select the icon on the left with the arrow, you will see a list of all of the gelato shops. Select which one you’d like to visit and the address will show up with more information.

Out of all of the things to do in Bologna, we recommend making time to try all eight of these gelato shops in Bologna, and you can rank them yourself based on flavor, texture, consistency, and freshness!  

So what are you waiting for? Go and try the best gelato in Bologna and let us know what you think in the comments!


Italy Travel Insurance – Should you get travel insurance for Italy? YES! We always get travel insurance before all of our trips for peace of mind. Check out Travel Insurance Master to find the best plan for you.

Italy Rental Cars – Is it safe to rent a car in Italy? Yes! We’ve rented a car in Italy too many times to count, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through Discover Cars (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling.

Italy Phone Plans – If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in Italy, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used Airalo during our trip to Italy, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed.

Italy Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for Italy? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through Booking for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *