Many would say gelato has very little to do with humble ice cream: it packs in some much luscious flavour that it deserves a category of its own. And it doesn't taste better just because you're in Italy.
So what's the difference? Gelato tends to use more whole milk than cream, so it generally has half as much fat in its ice cream (5-7% compared to 10% in ice cream).
Gelato is also churned much slower than ice cream, so it has a lot less air (25% in general, compared to the up to 50% in ice cream), resulting in a much denser product. It also kept at slightly warmer temperatures than ice cream (never frozen solid) which is why you can't get it in a supermarket and have to go to gelateria to buy some. Which isn't such a bad thing.
Starting in mid May, the Gelato Festival featuring innovative artisanal ice creams starts in Florence then moves on to Milan, Turin and Rome by mid June.
Images by: istolethetv