Stra Gelato 2011

One a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than eating a gelato…. or 11!  This year was the third annual Stra Gelato (aka Gelato marathon!) From my understanding, the past two years it was an actual timed marathon. This year, it was just a casual event. 11 hours to try 11 flavors of gelato. 11 gelaterie participated and a few of them had a second location. So, technically, it was 15 different places to try gelato.

The rules were simple, pick up a copy of CronacaQui (on the day of the marathon) and present it to the gazebo at Piazza CLN. Fill out your registration form and pick up your card.  On the cards, were the names of the 11 gelaterie and flavors. Each time you visit, they punch your card. The insert of CronacaQui had the map with all of the places to go.

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We had a game plan. We didn’t want to back track or walk anymore than we had to so, we followed our map to the first place.

1. Vasa Vasa Gelateria

Flavor: Sapore di Sicilia

This is actually one of my favorite places to get a Granita Siciliana. Their gelato is really good and it definitely a contender as one of the top spots in the city. The flavor they selected was Sapore di Sicilia. It was really light and creamy with a bit of Mandarin flavor. The description also mentioned that it had a hint of marsala which I didn’t taste at all. I was disappointed that my sample was so small. They should have given more!

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2. Caffe Miretti

Flavor: Fior di Panna

Every evening during the summer, you will find a long line outside of Caffe Miretti. One of the one of the most popular caffes in Turin and a must if you’re Torinese. This caffe has style and is a great place to come and soak in the local flavor. Their Fior di Panna is so delicate. It’s creamy, light and melts in your mouth. It’s like having the best fresh whipped cream you’ve ever had! I was happy to see that we got a bigger sample here than at Vasa Vasa.

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3. Cioccogelateria Venchi

Flavor: Cioccolato Azteco

Having just visited Venchi a few weeks ago, we decided that we’d go to the one at Porta Nuova instead of the one on Via Garibaldi. As I mentioned, for some reason it just tastes better. If you are a fan of EXTRA DARK CHOCOLATE, then this is for you! It’s actually a sorbet but it’s really rich. You’ll want to pair it with something light like Fior di Latte.

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4. Cono d’oro

Flavor: Chantilly

This was a new one for us. We had never had a gelato from this place and it’s located on one of the most prestigious streets in the city. If you’ve ever had an Italian pastry filled with fluffy white cream.. you can be sure it’s probably Chantilly. Light and airy, it’s the perfect flavor on a hot summer day!

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5. Alberto Marchetti

Flavor: Fave Tonka e grue’ di cacao

We’ve actually heard quite a bit about this particular gelateria so, when we realized that they were part of Stra Gelato, we were very excited. This may be the best odd flavor gelato I’ve ever had. Cream made with Tonka beans with bits of chocolate. Truth be told, I never thought I’d actually enjoy gelato with beans. I gotta say… IT WAS AMAZING!!

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6. Rivareno

Flavor: Bergamotto Calabro

One of our new favorites Rivareno also had two locations to choose from. The route we chose had us trying the store at Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Here we had another sorbet which was odd considering it didn’t taste like a sorbet. It was more of a citrus flavor and would be awesome if it were a Granita Sicliana!

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We loved spotting everyone with their Stra Gelato passes around their necks. Each group walking around with their maps or gelati in hand.

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7. La Piramide

Flavor: Limone

I had always wondered what this place was like. I’d walk by and it’s always busy but that’s probably because they also serve Pizza. Since I’m not really a fan of the Pizza/Kebab/Gelato places, I was a bit worried. However, this must be a great spot since it’s one of the first places to bring the Granita Siciliana to Turin.  I was pleasantly surprised by the lemon gelato. It was actually creamy and the lemon was light and subtle. That may be due to the fact that they use lemons from the Amalfi Coast.

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8. La Piazzetta

Cioccolato e Pere

By this time, I was starting to get full so we had to stop and rest as well as feed and change the baby. Our next stop had us at La Piazzetta so we sat at Piazza Carlo Alberto for a good 45 minutes. It also allowed us to wait for our friends to join us in the remainder of our marathon. La Piazzetta featured a chocolate and pear gelato which I didn’t like so much. Personally, the pear was too strong and really outweighed the chocolate. It just wasn’t a perfect balance, our friends thought otherwise.

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I sat and looked at my gelato badge and realized I was almost done!!

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9. Vanilla

Flavor: Panna Cotta Maison

Vanilla has been around for a few years now but it’s still a hidden gem. I’ve mentioned before that we think it’s the BEST gelato in Turin. The owners know us and were excited that we were participating in Stra Gelato. They asked everyone if it was their first time visiting Vanilla and to please let them know what they thought of the Panna Cotta Maison. Vanilla actually imports the vanilla beans they use from Mexico and you can easily tell they take pride in their gelato. We heard a lot of buzz from everyone near us that it was truly delicious and they gave their compliments to the owners.  I think the lines at Vanilla are about to get really long this summer! 

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10. Ottimo!

Flavor: Crema Australiana

Since I just went to Ottimo! last week, their deliciousness was still fresh in my mind. What I failed to do last time was take a picture of the flavors they have so, I made sure to do it this time around. As we were about to enter, the hubby joke that this one was made of Kangaroo milk. It does however have macadamia nuts and chocolate. I had said that they have “exoticly” flavors and as you can tell from the pictures, I was right. I am interested in finding out exactly how that Orange and Basil might taste!

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11. Piu di un gelato

Flavor: Yogurt  Variegato

The last one! 10 flavors down.. one more to go. I was excited that I was just about done. I was having a great time but I was full! This gelateria is hidden in one of the small side streets near Via Garibaldi and could be easily missed. Since we now know about it, I’ll be sure to come back often especially since I LOVED their sample. Yogurt flavored gelato with cherry syrup and whole cherries!  Not only did this hit the spot perfectly but it was the biggest gelato of the whole marathon so, I was happy that it was my last one!

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At the end, I went back to the gazebo to let them know I had finished. My “prize” was a small flower and 2 coupons for free gelato at 2 of the participating places. Looks like I’ll be going back to Ottimo! and Miretti for more!

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To read more about StraGelato and to see more photos, go to CronacaQui.it. If you’re in Italy in June, I highly recommend spending some time in Turin and join me next year!

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