Ice cream makes our inner child squeal with glee. And on hot, sunny Italian summer days, nothing quite beats a cool, soft scoop. Find your perfect pick-me-up at one of the many ice cream parlours around Lake Garda – many of which even stay open as late as bars.
Here are just a sprinkle of our favourites in the northern part of the lake:
- Flora Gelateria, Riva: With a vast range of flavours and usually a queue that snakes outside, this frozen treat is worth waiting for – so lick your lips and use the time to get deciding. If you’re staying in Riva, try a different flavour every day and savour its rich, creamy texture – don’t worry, ice cream calories don’t count in Italy.
- Eta Beta, Riva: Freshly made in store, this is where you’ll find gelato at its finest. If you need your chocolate hit for the day, tuck into the creamy cremino flavour. It’s an Italian chocolate made with coffee or hazelnut paste sandwiched between two layers of chocolate, pieces of which are mixed into vanilla and chocolate ice cream.
- Gelateria Cento Per Cento, Malcesine: After the steep walk up to the Malcesine’s historic castle, reward yourself with a decadent scoop of ice cream. The small, cute parlour is so unassuming that you’d usually walk straight past it, but the gelato keeps customers coming back to sample more of its creative flavours.
If we’ve got you craving more and you’re staying in or visiting the southern part of the lake, head for:
- Cristallos Gelateria, Bardolino: Stop off at Bardolino’s lakeside promenade for a scoop of this famous, homemade ice cream. There’s outdoor seating and you’ll get a hefty scoop whether you opt for a tub or a cone. It was founded in 1969 and the ice cream has been made from the freshest ingredients ever since.
- La Cremeria di Lazise, Lazise: Watch the ice cream being made before your eyes at the rear of the store before you try one of the numerous flavours. It’s well known for its fruity concoctions and rich, dark chocolate flavour that you can enjoy by Lazise’s harbour.
- Cremeria Bulian, Sirmione: Step in from the sun through the brick archway to treat yourself to an ice-cold scoop of gelato. Compared to others in Sirmione, it’s not too pricey so you can add an extra scoop to your order and sample another flavour.
- Gelateria Gelamore, Desenzano: This small gelateria is located along Desenzano’s promenade, and may be the best in town. There are dairy-free options and they serve unique flavours — try one on a warm crêpe or a freshly baked waffle to really satisfy your sweet tooth.
- La Gelateria Homemade, Peschiera: This ice cream even has the Italians raving so it’s a must-try that’ll quickly become your daily favourite when in Peschiera. The gelato is made from organic milk and placed atop fresh waffle cones. Be sure to try the Spaghetti ice cream – it’s a blaze of half a kilo of ice cream, strawberries, syrup and cream. You’ll want to save space for this.