Greatest gelato in Bologna.
I was first attracted to a fantastic gelateria in the center of Bologna by the shop's image of a bull sporting two ice-cream-cone horns and a hint of a smile as it licks a third cone. The shop's name "Il Gelatauro" fuses gelato with the Italian word for bull, tauro. Its inviting logo is based on a mosaic portrait of a cow in the church of San Vitale in nearby Ravenna, and the shop's watercolor paintings (of fruits that flavor gelato) are also executed in the Byzantine style of Ravenna's church mosaics. Their artist, though, is American Angela Lorenz, the sister-in-law of the gelataio, Cosimo Filomene.
Angela came to Bologna in 1985 to study art at the university and there she met her future husband, Gianni. It was he who convinced his brother Cosimo to become a premium gelato-maker.
Il Gelatauro specializes in fresh fruit flavors such as peaches or berries and seasonal surprises like prickly pear cactus (tastes melony) or persimmon (mouth-puckering). The shop offers around 30 gelato flavors, adding in summer five or six kinds of the fruit-flavored ice called granita. All are made from the finest ingredients. Organic oranges are shipped from November until June from Cosimo and Gianni's home grove in Calabria; lemons come from Amalfi; pistachios from Sicily; hazelnuts from Piemonte. The crystallized ginger comes from Australia, is sulfur-free, and makes an astonishing gelato. Like all the fruit flavors here, the ginger one is made without milk. Other flavors (the nutty or chocolate ones, for instance) are made in the rich northern Italian manner, using both cream and milk.
Visit Il Gelatauro on your birthday and you'll be rewarded with a free cone. Kids can spin a wheel-of-fortune to win one anytime.
Il Gelatauro, via San Vitale 82/b, Bologna, tel. 39-051-230049.
May 14, 1999