Italian Treats To Help Stay Cool this Summer

Summer is here and man is it a hot one! The temps are really creeping up here and we’re all looking for any way to stay cool. As luck would have it, here in Italy we have quite a few frozen and chilled desserts that will do just the trick!

Here are a few of our favorite and tastiest ways to beat the heat while traveling in southern Italy.

Without a doubt, the number one frozen treat for locals and tourists, especially in the hot summer months. Whether it’s a refreshing afternoon snack or a sweet addition to your evening passeggiata, the gelato is hands-down the king of summer desserts in Italy. Walk into any gelateria in Italy and you are welcomed with a range of flavors. You’ll find your standard flavors like nocciola (hazelnut), pistaccio (pistachio), etc. But some towns and villages have taken gelato-making to a whole new level by creating interesting specialties made with local ingredients. In Tropea, you can find gelato made with their famous red onions. Yes, you read that correctly – onion-flavored gelato! Would you believe me if I said they also have gelato made with ‘nduja? If you are curious and want to give it try, pop into Gelateria Tonino located in the historic center of Tropea.

This is a refreshing summer sorbet-like dessert that is a specialty in Sicily, although you’ll find it in other places, too. This sweet light-textured summer dessert will quench your thirst and give you a quick energy boost. Most cafes and gelateria will offer a variety of granita flavors for you to choose from. Some of the most popular are lemon, strawberry, almond, and even coffee (for that much-needed caffeine kick). If you are looking for something a little more, um, let’s say “substantial”, you can also find some places that serve up granita with whipped cream and a sweet roll. This is very common in Sicily. One of our favorite spots is BamBar in Taormina – they always have an incredible selection to choose from.

A famous ice cream dessert hailing from the Calabrian seaside town of Pizzo Calabro. The original Tartufo is a ball of homemade hazelnut and chocolate gelato with a solid chocolate core and a dusting of cocoa powder on the outside. Today, you can also find other versions of the Tartufo using creative and delicious flavor combos. Whatever flavor you choose, there is nothing more satisfying than taking that first spoonful and letting that soft center gently flow out. When visiting Calabria, we always recommend a stop in Pizzo. Take some time to sit in the main square overlooking the sea and indulge in this much-loved frozen treat. There are many great places to have a Tartufo in Pizzo, but if we had to pick our favorite, we’d absolutely choose Bar Ercole. It has an interesting history and their Tartufo, in our opinion, is top-quality!

If you are interested in traveling to Southern Italy, contact us. We can help you plan your travel itinerary and let you know our favorite places to enjoy the best local cuisine.