Naples is a city that enchants visitors with its rich history, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering cuisine. While Naples is more famous for its delectable pastries, such as sfogliatella and baba, it may come as a surprise that the city is also home to some truly exceptional gelato. Though finding top-notch gelato in Naples might not be as easy as in Rome or Florence, we’ve done the legwork for you by handpicking seven of the best gelato shops in the city.
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Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?
Before we dive into our list of the best gelaterias in Rome, it’s important to note that gelato is not ice cream and word to the wise: never call it ice cream when in Italy. But if you thought that gelato was just a fancier name for good ol’ ice cream, we don’t blame you!
Though gelato and ice cream are both creamy, frozen desserts made from ingredients including dairy and sugar, gelato is actually rather distinct from ice cream. The difference lies in the proportions of each with gelato having more milk (and less cream) compared to ice cream. It also doesn’t usually contain egg yolks the way that ice cream does.
Gelato is creamier, smoother, silkier, and more elastic and fluid than ice cream. Because it’s made with less air than ice cream, gelato has a denser structure and this denseness allows it to pack a much more intense flavor than traditional ice cream.
Best of all!—gelato is also lower in fat (5 to 7% fat compared to a minimum of 10% fat for ice cream) which means it’s all the more reason to have at least one cup or cone every day of your trip!
Gelato is also traditionally served about 6–8°C (10–15°F) warmer than ice cream, meaning it will melt faster but also allow the tongue to experience a richer flavor.
Top-quality gelato ought to be creamy but not too fatty, devoid of ice crystals, and should have a clean taste that isn’t overpowered by milk or sugar. Finally, gelato should be kept in steel containers and it isn’t scooped, it’s traditionally served with a device that resembles a spatula.
Where to Get the Best Gelato in Naples, Italy
Each of the gelaterias below offers a unique experience and delicious, high-quality gelato that will leave you craving more. From historic establishments to modern, innovative shops, these gelaterias embody the spirit and tradition of Italian gelato. So, grab your spoon and prepare to discover the sweetest side of Naples.
Chalet Ciro Gelato
Established in 1952, Chalet Ciro Gelato has been a beloved Naples institution for generations. Overlooking the picturesque Mergellina seafront, this family-run gelateria invites you to indulge in its wide array of flavors, crafted from locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients.
Their famed rum-soaked baba gelato, a nod to the traditional Neapolitan dessert, is a must-try, along with their divine almond and honey creation.
Chalet Giro Gelato is open daily from 06:45–03:00.
Casa Infante in its roots as a pasticceria dates back to the late 18th century. Today, it has earned a reputation for serving some of Naples’ finest handmade gelato. This family-run shop is renowned for its artisanal gelato, crafted using traditional methods and the freshest ingredients.
Lemons from Sorrento, Vesuvius apricots, Cilento figs, Fabbri cherries, Trentino berries, chestnuts, hazelnuts from Piedmont, Saronno amaretti, and Cervia salt are just some of the locally sourced ingredients they use. You can try more than 40 flavors across their nine locations in Naples.
Casa Infante has several locations throughout Naples. They operate slightly different business hours but are all open daily from 10:30–22:00.
In Italy, it’s common to ask for two or three different flavors in the same cup, so be adventurous and try different flavors.
Valenti, located on Via dei Tribunali, is a modern and stylish gelateria that prides itself on creating flavorsome gelato using only the highest quality, all-natural ingredients. Their commitment to excellence shines through in their extensive range of flavors, from the classic stracciatella to their unique, seasonal offerings.
Be sure to try their scrumptious mascarpone and fig gelato or the enticing passion fruit sorbet.
Gelateria Valenti is open Wednesday–Monday from 10:00–24:00.
Mozzelato, located on Via San Biagio Dei Librai, is an innovative gelateria that specializes in creating artisanal gelato with a creative twist.
The gelateria is particularly famous for its delectable mozzarella gelato, which combines the creaminess of fresh buffalo mozzarella with a delicate sweetness. You will find it under the name “Mozzelatte.”
Mozzelato is open from 10:00–2:00 (Monday–Saturday) and 09:00–21:00 (Sunday).
Mennella, a family-run business since 1969, is dedicated to upholding the traditional gelato-making process, using only the freshest, high-quality ingredients. Their expertise shines through in their outstanding flavors, such as the zesty lemon sorbet and the indulgent chocolate fondant gelato.
Be sure to sample their show-stopping chocolate and hazelnut cake, which pairs perfectly with their creamy gelato.
There are numerous Mennella locations around Naples, however, a few of them only sell pastries, not gelato. On the upside, the gelato shop is usually not far away ;). The various locations operate slightly different business hours but are all open daily from 12:00–21:00.
When selecting which gelateria to visit in Naples and which flavor to go for, keep in mind that seasonal fruits are always best. Avoid places featuring unnatural, brightly colored flavors like bright greens and blues. This indicates that the stuff is mass-produced and not at all authentic or superior in taste.
Soave, founded in 1950, is a delightful gelateria nestled in the neighborhood of Vomero. This charming shop is committed to creating artisanal gelato using the finest, locally sourced ingredients.
Their attention to detail and passion for quality is evident in their impressive selection of flavors. If you’re in the mood for something light, their refreshing lemon sorbet or the exotic mango and passion fruit gelato are sure to hit the spot.
Gelateria Soave is open from 11:00-20:30 (Tuesday–Saturday); 10:30–14:00 & 16:30–20:30 (Sunday).
When you step into Fantasia Gelati, you’re entering a gelato paradise that has been delighting customers since 1994. Compared to other shops in Naples, Fantasia may feel like a slight departure from traditional gelato. Dozens of flavors with various additional toppings give the appearance of an American candy store rather than an artisanal gelateria.
Still, Fantasia Gelati is one of the most popular gelato shops in Naples. With over 60 flavors to try at their four locations, you could probably spend an eternity there.
Fantasia Gelati has several locations throughout Naples. They operate slightly different business hours but are all open daily from 10:00–22:30.
How Much Does Gelato in Naples Cost?
In Naples, gelato is typically sold by the size of the cup or cone, rather than the number of flavors or scoops. The price of a small (piccolo) cone or cup of gelato ranges from 1.80-3.00 EUR at all the gelato shops we’ve featured on our list. A small cup usually includes at least two scoops.
While most gelaterias in Naples do accept card payments, it’s always a good idea to have some loose change on hand. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on a mouth-watering gelato because you’re short on cash.
When it comes to choosing between a cone or a cup for your gelato, it’s really a matter of personal preference. However, we personally recommend getting your gelato in a cone as it’s a more eco-friendly option, with nothing to dispose of at the end except for a napkin.
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Do you agree with our list? Where did you find the best gelato in Naples? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Hello there, fellow globetrotters! I’m Jacky, a passionate travel blogger with an insatiable wanderlust. With several years of experience in online marketing, I leverage my expertise to ensure that you get the best travel advice, tailored for the digital age. My travels have taken me to over 30 countries, and I love sharing those experiences with readers like you. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, science fiction, coffee, and all things cute. My travel tips have been featured on lonelyplanet.com and in the EasyJet Traveller magazine.