My number one favorite sweet treat in Italy had got to be gelato. Few travellers (including me) go a day in this glorious country without happily balancing a small paper cup while spooning icy bites of this dense, creamy confection with a tiny plastic spatula. Yes, we have ice cream back home, but to me, ice cream is a cold, distant American cousin from gelato. In Pienza, you’ll find my favorite scoops at Buon Gusto, an unassuming, shop with a simple sign mounted under overflowing clotheslines of sundried laundry.
Buon Gusto owners farm their own organic gardens to create eight daily gelato flavors that rival any other gelato options I’ve tasted anywhere in Italy. Flavors such as banana parsley, basil, bittersweet chocolate avocado, beetroot, lemon mint and pineapple ginger entertain my taste buds in a way 31 Flavors never can. And while the typical tourist-attracting Italian gelato shop displays curvaceous mounds of rainbow colored gelato studded with hunks of fresh fruit, Buon Gusto keeps their gelatos under cover in stainless steel cylinders alongside of the actual freshly picked ingredients used for the day’s innovative gelato recipes.
The owner is more than generous with samples, encouraging you to go ahead and try all eight before deciding on your favorite. Can’t decide? They will happily nestle a few flavors in each cup, which will no doubt leave you wanting more. But hey, there’s always tomorrow’s visit, where eight new gelatos will be waiting to be sampled and swooned over. Life is sweet, and so is gelato!