What’s more pleasurable on a vacation to Italy than enjoying a scoop or two of gelato? There may only be one answer, and that’s savoring the gelato you made yourself. Luckily, travelers can now try their hand at the craft by taking one of the several gelato-making classes for amateurs offered throughout Italy. These classes are usually between two and four hours long, held either at cooking schools or gelato shops, and are a family-friendly activity. Here are five options.
>> In Turin, IC Bellagio offers a two-hour private class at a popular gelateria in the city center. The head gelataio — the name for the person who makes the frozen treat — teaches the session in the shop’s kitchen and begins with an explanation of how gelato differs from ice cream. After tasting more than 20 kinds of gelato including coffee and licorice, guests use the shop’s machine to make their favorite flavor. An English-speaking assistant is on hand to help with language translation. 580 euros, about $685, for two people. Reserve by emailing Mariaelisa@icbellagio.com.
>> In Padua, near Venice, Mama Isa, the owner of Mama Isa’s Cooking School, offers a four-hour private gelato-making lesson at her house. She teaches students her family’s recipes, which favor seasonal varieties like peach in summer and pumpkin in winter. Lunch is included. From 130 euros a person. Reserve by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
>> In Rome Cooking, a cooking school in Rome in a 17th-century palazzo, runs small-group, two-hour gelato classes several times a week and offers private classes upon request. Students practice making gelato with a professional machine, as well as by hand. The ingredients for the flavors are sourced from around Italy: pistachios from Sicily and dark chocolate from Perugia. 60 euros a person, 50 euros for children who are 15 or younger. Reserve by emailing email@example.com.
>> Also in Rome, Access Europe offers a two-hour class at Giolitti, a gelato shop near the Pantheon that opened in 1900 and is famous for its long lines. Students work with a gelataio to make their preferred flavor and then go behind the counter of the shop where they can serve their gelato to waiting customers. A tasting of gelato follows. 700 euros, inclusive of car and driver. Reserve by calling 888-499-5513.
>> In Florence, Florencetown offers a two-hour private gelato class where guests first visit four well-known gelaterias for tastings. In a fifth gelateria, the gelato maker teaches them how to make a seasonal flavor — in the summer it could be strawberry; in the fall, almond and yogurt. From 75 euros a person with a four-person minimum. Reserve by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.