Tour del Gelato: Gelateria Cesare in Reggio Calabria (Calabria)

Remember last week when I told you all about my day trip to Reggio Calabria? Oh you know … where I found those buns of bronze?

Well I have a confession to make. And no, it has nothing to do with those big naked men … but it is just as sinful.

Reggio Calabria is famed for not one, but two world-class gelaterie. Everyone in town has their favorite and they’ll venomously defend their gelato maker of choice … or die of insulin overdose trying.

You see, I’m a gelato connoisseur myself so I wasn’t content to take the advice of Reggio day-trippers who had come before me. I had to taste them and see how they compared to my longtime favorite, Marron Glacés.

So in the name of research-I tried them both.

Today’s stop on the Tour del Gelato leads us to Gelateria Cesare, located in a bright green kiosk near the lungomare and just steps away from both the Reggio Calabria Lido train station and the National Museum of Magna Grecia.

Gelateria Cesare in Reggio Calabria

For more than 50 years, Gelateria Cesare has been dishing out what they claim-and what at least 50% of Reggio Calabrians claim-is the best gelato in town and with about three dozen flavors, including hard-to-find low-fat and sugar-free varieties, I can’t say they are wrong.

Gelateria Cesare in Reggio Calabria

Chocolate and cream flavors more your thing? Check these babies out.

Gelateria Cesare in Reggio Calabria

Cesare’s has even had some high-profile taste testers give them the thumbs up.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at Cesare Gelateria in Reggio Calabria

Perhaps what was even more impressive to me than the creamy gelato and full, rich flavors was Cesare’s staff and atmosphere. The kiosk is barely large for 10 people and the staff-laughing, joking and smiling-eagerly offer samples while you search their icy glass containers for your favorite flavors.

They have four sizes available, including the mini cup (€1.50) which is perfect for a post-pizza dessert or a lazy afternoon.

Gelateria Cesare

Piazza Indipendenza

Reggio Calabria (Lido)


In order to best compare Cesare to Marron Glacés, I chose my two favorite flavors-pistachio and spagnola. They were sweet, cold and refreshing and the black cherry left just a twinge of a bittersweet aftertaste. But how did Cesare hold up against Reggio-famed Sottozero? Come back on Wednesday to find out!

* Photo of Berlu at Cesare’s is from GelateriaCesare.It.

5 Responses
  1. Robert

    I have not tried the other one, but I can vouch for Cesare’s. In fact, it’s probably the best gelato I have had since arriving in Italy 19 months ago. (And that includes gelato I’ve had in Naples, Rome, Siena and elsewhere!)
    I agree. The gelato I’ve had in Calabria definitely beats the gelato I had in other places in Italy. Most of our B&B guests agree, as well. You need to come to Catanzaro and try Marron Gracés on the lungomare. Delizioso!

  2. j

    Hmmm, this may be the best piece of info I’ve gotten from your blog. I thought the gelatoria in Castalina in Chianti was the best when I was there, and I did a thorough search for gelatorias all over Italy (though I missed the ones you talk about here).

    Fortunately we have a great one that holds up to most any in Italy right here in Cleveland!
    You definitely have to try my favorite-Marrons Glaces in Catanzaro Lido, J. It is heaven in a cone!

  3. wow, I’m impressed — you can hold yourself to a mini-cup?! Try as I might, no matter where I am at a gelateria, i can’t can’t can’t!

    Found a good gelateria in Madrid, at the Plaza de 2 Mayo. It was authentic Italian gelato. Had tried another place billing itself as Italian the day before, over by the Royal Palace, but it was an impostor’s gelato!!!
    The NERVE!! Grrr… We have a place in Beaumont (TX) that sells “gelato,” as well. It isn’t bad, per se… but it ain’t the real deal!
    Kim B.’s last blog post..Back to Work for (Gasp!) Four Days a Week

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