Of course, you’re in Italy and you’re eating gelato. It’s pretty unavoidable, and, when it’s hot, everybody – locals, tourists, etc. – is eating it. While I didn’t get to Pisa (of the Leaning Tower fame) the first time I visited Italy, I have to say it’s an Italian town worth checking out – it’s darker, duskier, and far more romantic than its neighbor (by a 30 minute train ride), Florence (Firenze). And, while you’re in Pisa, strolling down the banks of the ancient Arno, the gelato idea sounds more and more appealing. So stop in at Gelateria De Coltelli’s, conveniently located near the Ponte di Mezzo (big bridge you’ll definitely cross when walking ’round Pisa). Primary reasons to try De Cotltelli’s: (a) I could read some of the menu in my not-superb Italian – think simple, fresh, and natural ingredients like ice, cream, sugar, honey, etc., but in an artisan, passed-down-through-Sicilian-heritage way. (b) there was a crowd of local folks of all ages, all smiling and laughing. (c) the people working there didn’t speak much English. I figured this was a good spot, and the gelato was phenomenal. They have all sorts of blended flavors, with coffee and cream and ricotta mixed in, and all of their fruit flavors – pear, banana, strawberry – were made right from the fruits they’re named after. You don’t stay inside and eat, though the reddish interior is chic; the best part of the whole experience is where you eat your ice cream – sitting up on the giant concrete walls that overlook the Arno. It’s a great experience; check it out!
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