Address: Via Isole dell Stinche 7r, Firenze (FI), Italy. 055299334.
Review: Vivoli is one of the more (or most) famous gelaterie in Firenze.
Of course in a town known more for its architectural beauty and intellectual history than food prowess, this might not be saying much. Let's see what this gelato's made of, shall we.
First a word regarding size. We bought the 5 euro cup, and I figured Vivoli would fill it up with quite a lot of gelato. I was wrong. Vivoli filled the cup to the rim, and not much more. Skimping on gelato like this is not especially appreciated by patrons, nor is it a terribly good business practice. That said, size has nothing to do with the taste of the gelato. So, let's shift focus and discuss taste.
We indulged in four flavors: cedro (i.e., candied large lemons from the Amalfi Coast), chocolate with orange, apricot, and pineapple.
The cedro was a very interesting flavor. Cedro itself is incredibly bitter, and candying it only takes away the bitterness to a certain degree. So, at points while eating, I would bite into the candied cedro and get a hit of bitter in contrast to the sweet creaminess of the gelato. Americans usually aren't huge fans of bitter tastes, but if you spend enough time in Europe or Asia, you begin to appreciate what bitterness can add to food. In this case, the citric bitterness livened the gelato and set it apart from almost all other gelato flavors I've tasted. Great idea. Great execution.
Chocolate and orange is a classic combination, and it makes a very good gelato flavor. The chocolate base was smooth, sweet, and deeply chocolatey. The earthiness of the chocolate, but not any artificial sweetness, was center stage. The orange added a fruity flavor and depth to the gelato. Classic. Beautiful.
The apricot and pineapple, by contrast, were more about the sugar than the fruit. This is unfortunate, since apricot lends itself to so well to a fruit-in-the-forefront gelato.
So, two small flavors were very, very good, and two small flavors were just okay.
Rating: 6.5/10 (5/10 is average).