Gelato Festival in Florence!!

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Ah! This is a great welcome to Summer 2011! I love love love good ice cream, and this second edition of the Gelato Festival will see a five-day long event entirely dedicated to artisan ice cream making. There will be 30 producers from all over Italy just in Piazza Pitti, plus the Sammontana stand in Piazza della Repubblica, and many ice cream places adhering to this festival.

Let’s start from the dates of the event. Florence, May 25 through 29, 2011 everyday from Noon to Midnight. So save the date, and be there!

Now the places of the event. First, the historic center of Florence, in Tuscany. This will be the heart of the Gelato festival. How else could it be? Your gelato will certainly taste better while your eyes take in all the unique art and beauty of the city. Piazza della Repubblica is the heart of Florence, and will also be the heart of the event. Here the Sammontana, a nationwide ice cream manufacturer, will install a village dedicated to the freezy dessert. Unfortunately to this day the program of the event is not complete, and as of yet I can only tell you that in the village there will be workshops on ice cream making, and it will especially dedicated to children. But you can stay tuned visiting this page (Italian only…use Google translate!).
This year another spot will be added. Piazza Pitti, on the other bank of the Arno river, will host the 30 ice cream artisans from all over Italy that will be competing against each other, and you will be the judge sampling their newly invented tastes.

The event will also include contemporary art exhibits, and a Gelato University thanks to the most prestigious ice cream maker of Italy, Carpigiani. You can be an artisan gelato maker for a day learning how to make the delicious cream and invent your own taste!
If you are looking for a more passive experience, be ready to also sip the alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktails that the best bartenders of Florence have created using ice cream. In addition, live music will be played by roaming street bands, so your tongue can lick with a rhythm.

Unfortunately the list of the ice cream shops participating to the event is not yet out, however you can check it out here.
IMPORTANT: If you want to taste the ice cream made by the artisans you have to buy a 7 euro card that will allow you to taste all the gelato you want! The card can be purchased online with Paypal. A code will be sent to you by email and the card will be given to you at the express counters in Piazza Pitti exhibiting the code and an ID. Here the link to purchase the card.

Why should you be there? What question is that? Isn’t it self explanatory? This is ice cream at its best people! But if this is not enough, here some numbers from the 2010 and first edition of the festival: 400 thousand visitors, more than 13 tons of ice cream produced, 12 thousand liters of milk, 2 thousand liters of cream, and 2 and e half tons of sugar. The last figure is proof that ice cream is SWEET!

I’ll throw a crazy contest without prize. What is your most favorite ice cream taste? Which one would you invent? Comment on it right below!