We don’t know about you but we can’t think of a better way to enjoy a hot, sunny day in the lakes or mountains than with a delicious, cooling ice cream. It’s a classic holiday snack and the perfect reward for a day spent hiking or sightseeing.
Apparently the most popular flavours worldwide are vanilla and chocolate. And while we recognise there is a time and a place for these flavours, they’re a bit plain for our liking. We’re a fan of the weird and the wonderful, the imaginative and creative flavours you can’t find anywhere else other than in the Lakes and Mountains.
Here are just a few of our favourites for you ice cream lovers out there...
Weird and wonderful flavours Italy
Forget pizza and pasta – Italy’s reputation for creative cuisine is best demonstrated by its incredible ice cream. The country’s ice cream shops offer up some of the tastiest and most unexpected ice creams we’ve ever tasted.
The Fabbrica del Gelato a Lenno in Lake Como makes a fantastic liquorice flavoured ice cream. Rich and creamy, the delicious desserts are best enjoyed at this waterfront restaurant while admiring the lakeside scenery.
The Flora Gelateria in Riva and the Pink Panther in Limone both serve some spectacular ice creams – but for our absolute favourite gelateria on Lake Garda you’ll need to head to Desenzano and La Romana ice cream shop.
We can’t decide between zabaione (sweet Italian desert) flavour or ricotta and figs! All of La Romana’s flavours are incredibly creamy and made with fresh ingredients and organic milk.
For the absolute weirdest flavours in the Lakes and Mountains you should head to Gelateria Dondoli in San Gimignano near Trasimeno . Ricotta and figs, caccio (essentially aged cheese) and pear, black olives, Veranaccia wine and much, much more. Our favourite? Blue cheese and nuts – it sounds crazy but we love it!
Did you know: gelato is not the same as ice cream? Gelato is a special Italian recipe which creates a smoother texture and more intense flavours. Made with milk instead of cream it’s far less fatty than normal ice cream. Gelato is supposed to be served at higher temperatures giving it a softer consistency.
Dessert with a view Switzerland
It’s all about the location when sampling ice creams in Switzerland. Our favourite flavours are the result of local ingredients and influences. And spectacular scenery and world class restaurants always compliment a tasty coupe de glace!
In the mountains many farmers and restaurants make their own ice creams resulting in a huge range of textures and flavours. Chez Vrony in Zermatt serves high quality ice cream and the outlook from the restaurant terrace includes amazing views of the Matterhorn.
We highly recommend a day trip from Interlaken, Wilderswil or Lucerne to the capital, Bern. The Kornhauskeller is a fabulous historic building and an amazing setting in which to enjoy one of their delightful ice creams.
The Italian influence on ice cream is obvious in the Ticino area of sunny southern Switzerland. The fantastic flavours at the Vera Gelateria, by Locarno railway station, are delicious! We’re big fans of the coconut flavour ice cream.
Did you know: that Mövenpick ice cream is Swiss? The first Mövenpick restaurant opened in Zurich in 1948. Today Mövenpick ice cream is available throughout Switzerland and in range of varieties.
Best served with Pastries Austria
When visiting this wonderful country, it would be a shame not to eat ice cream alongside Austria’s renowned cakes and pastries. So we do – repeatedly!
Perhaps the most dangerous place in Söll is not a mountain cliff edge but the delightful Café Mirabell. We can’t walk by without treating ourselves! This pastry shop serves stunning ice cream glasses, more like works of art than deserts. Check out the After Eight Becher – suitable at any time of the day.
For a refined flavour of ice cream head to the Strandperle near Seefeld. Their vanilla and cinnamon flavour ice cream is delightfully subtle and the perfect complement to a tasty apple strudel.
The first vegan ice cream shop in Vienna the Veganista ice cream café serves a range of both classic and unusual varieties of flavours. All the ingredients are sustainably source and fairly prepared without animal products. They also serve delicious biscuits. We like the Inbetwiener – a cookie, ice cream sandwhich.
Cake flavour? Slovenia
The Hotel Park also has a reputation for serving delicious ice cream. Naturally, cream cake features as one of the many scrumptious variety of flavours. Not staying at the hotel? Fear not! They have a specially dedicated ice cream kiosk along the lake promenade.