Venice was a spectacular place for gelato!
On our first evening we got our fix at Gelateria al Sole, which is located on the Grand Canal but far enough from the tourist centre that it’s actually really pleasant. (It was the priciest place we’d visited so far on our gelato quest, and all the gelato in Venice turned out to be quite expenive.) We sat in the seats outside and enjoyed the lapping of the water.
Unfortunately the cones aren’t vegan, but besides that it’s quite a vegan-friendly place – they even have a variety of plant-based milks for hot drinks! The vegan gelato flavours were mostly the usual suspects: fruit, chocolate, and coffee, for a change. I got chocolate and orange together. The orange was a little bitter on its own, but they were beautiful when combined.
Our next gelato stop was Gelatoteca SuSo, right in the thick of the tourist mayhem in the winding little alleys of central Venice. Also, it was an insanely popular place with a queue well out of the door. The obvious downside of this is that it’s impossible to actually see the flavours before you get to the front, and there’s quite a bit of pressure to keep things moving and decide quickly. I could only see three vegan flavours, though it’s possible there were more. I got a scoop of chocolate and one of ‘notanera’, which I believe combined raspberries and chocolate ganache. It was absolutely glorious!
They have an assortment of cones, but only one is suitable for vegans – and it costs €1 extra! Bah! Hence I got a cup.
Something different next: gelato on a stick! Stickhouse has various ice lolly options, but I only saw one that was clearly identified as vegan and it was this chocolate sorbet. The sorbets are already on sticks, and then you can have it dunked in chocolate and in your preferred topping. The server confirmed that the dark chocolate coating was vegan, so I dunked it in there and got the pistachios for a nice colour contrast. It was one of the best of the holiday! The chocolate coating was nice and thick, with that satisfying crunch. The chocolate sorbet itself was delicious. A definite winner!
There are a few branches of Stickhouse around the city centre – we saw one branch that quite prominently displayed vegan options, and this one that didn’t. So keep your eyes open!
And finally at Gelateria il Doge I got my hands on some chocolate and hazelnut. Hurray! The cones are vegan, and the portions, as you can see, were extremely generous. The gelato was really creamy, and I had to eat it quickly to avoid it all melting away – quite the challenge!
If you’re wandering around the city collecting vegan gelato ice cream, you can also factor in some artistic endeavours too if you are visiting during the Biennale. You can pay to visit the main exhibitions at two central locations, but we’d already blown our art allowance on another exhibition. Instead, we went to some of the free pavilions for individual countries and got to see some weird and wonderful art. This one was from Azerbaijan…
…while the Cuban Pavilion featured a library full of illuminated bottles of plants.
Here’s the Montenegro Pavilion, featuring lots of little figures presumably inspired by Gru from Despicable Me.
Any art experts who can explain what this from the Estonian Pavilion means?!
At least the climate change installation was a bit easier to understand!