The Gelateria that Scoops 840 Cones a Day

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Italian gelato maker balancing a cone of strawberry ice cream on his palm

Gelato that makes me lust for another scoop before I’ve finished the first- that’s basically what I’m searching for at all times when in Italy.

So when I met my new friend Antonella, a local in a seaside village called Peschici in the “spur” of Italy’s boot, I asked her where I could find the best gelateria. She had already tipped me off to the best hidden restaurant, best hidden beach, and a contact who leads nature excursions on horseback. She responded to my probe about gelato as one might in the movies..“Oh, my fiancé has a gelateria. It’s the best in town.

You should stop by after dinner tonight.” Of course he does! (And of courrrrse I’ll stop by!)

Chocolate and stracciatella ice cream cone held out towards the camera by an older woman gelato maker

Now between this moment and the 20+ flavors I forced myself to sample (ha!), I had two other incredible experiences (which you can read about here) meeting an 87-year old fisherman and eating at an open-air restaurant facing the sunset on a cliff. And even after the hour of gelato-sampling and learning, I stumbled upon a group of young people who invited me to pull up a chair to their middle-of-the-street hangout. It might have been the most meaningful travel day I’ve had!

But anyway, let’s get to the gelato, shall we? Iginio (that’s Antonella’s fiancé, now husband!) runs Gelateria Pinagel with his mom, Giuseppina. But the gelato shop takes its roots from a history of 100 years of gelato-making in their family, even back when it had to be done entirely by hand. In between sampling licks of hazelnut and chocolate, I asked them a few questions to learn more about what goes into such truly amazing and award-winning gelato! Check it out below..

A dark-haired woman smiling and posing between Italian gelato makers behind their gelato counter

Me with Iginio and Giuseppina after tasting every flavor and interviewing them.

So, what makes a GREAT gelato?

To make a great gelato, you need milk, time, and top-quality ingredients. But you also need to give it a lot of attention a