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My Favorite Pizza and Gelato Experience In Italy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUC chapter.

During my spring break in 2018, I took a life changing trip with my high school. We traveled to Spain, France, and Italy all within 10 days. It was eventful and absolutely amazing. I checked off many bucket list items on this trip like having authentic pizza and gelato in Italy!

Since I went on this trip with my high school, they had planned every minute and although this was nice to not worry much about my meals or activities, I was hoping to explore on my own for a tad bit. I especially wanted to try local, hole-in-the-wall restaurants on my own. Luckily, when we arrived in Florence, Italy, we were given six hours of free time as long as we stayed with our small groups. 

Before arriving in Florence, I reached out to one of my older brother’s friends who was studying abroad in Florence and knew the area like a local. She said that I had to try this pizza place called “Gusta Pizza”. She described it as the best pizza she had ever had, so I knew I had to try it myself.

Next, I had to convince my small group to go there and that was a bit more of a struggle than I thought. If I remember correctly, they wanted to go to McDonalds and the 12 minute walk that the pizza place required was too much to risk. I finally convinced them and we headed that way.

Gusta Pizza is quite literally the definition of “hole-in-the-wall”. I was actually quite nervous we missed it because my Google Maps was saying we arrived and all I saw was a brick building and voila, Gusta Pizza was there! It sat on the corner of two cobblestone streets and looked magical.

I ordered first, since it was my idea, and I remembered my brother’s friend telling me that if you asked, they could make the pizza into a heart shape. I ordered a margherita pizza and asked the cashier if they could make the pizza in a heart shape, and he said “I can do that just for you” with a wink. Italians really know how to win a girl’s heart for sure. 

We took a seat in the corner of the restaurant and were amazed we were able to find a seat. There were only a few tables and 20+ customers in the tiny corner restaurant. Our table had a glass covering and underneath the glass was full of receipt tabs left by past customers. We all agreed to sign one and put ours in the display to leave our mark. I can’t wait to go back one day and find our tab.

Now the pizza – oh my goodness the pizza! It was hands down the best thing I have ever consumed (and still is after nearly 5 years later). It was an authentic Italian pizza and I felt my heart skip a beat every bite I took. I knew I was crossing something off my bucket list at this moment. Not only was I amazed, but my group was very thankful I dragged them to such a great pizzeria!

After we devoured our pizza and left no crumbs, we decided to walk back to our original location and explore there. We found a gelato shop and knew we had to try it. We were on a mission to find the best gelato in Italy. After having the best pizza in Italy, I was certain we weren’t going to get lucky again. 

Boy was I wrong! After some walking, we found this cute little gelato shop and felt like it was a good place to try. I sadly can’t remember the name of this place (very tragic, I know) but let me just say, it was amazing. I ordered the mint flavor and they put in a cute little cone and decorated it all nice for an Instagramable moment.

We ate our gelatos in a cobblestoned alleyway and it might have been the best day of my entire trip, but it was especially the day I felt the most Italian and like a local! 

Although I wish I remembered the name of the gelato place, I will never forget the flavor and experience of the place. This day will go down in history in my mind and will remain the day I crossed off “Have Good Pizza and Gelato In Italy”! I am determined to return to Italy and find that gelato place and memorize the name this time!

Sarah is from Dayton, Ohio and is currently studying MultiMedia Journalism at Loyola University Chicago. She enjoys thrifting, traveling, fashion, film photography and lifestyle. She is a creative person and finds comfort in writing, exploring the great city of Chicago, and listening to music. Her dream job is to travel and see the world as she writes about different cultures and activities to do in those different countries. Instagram: @sarahgsommers