About us
Gelato Festival

Gelato Festival is considered the most prestigious individual gelato tournament in the world and the leading event for promoting the sector. It consists of a 4-year qualification stage with selections and national/continental finals that allow chefs from all over the world to qualify for the final stage of the tournament, the world final called "Gelato Festival World Masters". The next world final will take place in 2021.

Having crossed the 10th anniversary milestone, with an annual average of 15 festivals open to the public and 50 selections behind closed doors around the world, Gelato Festival can now be considered one of the most important and most followed food events globally.

Numbers 2019:

  • 1 million visitors
  • 1000 chefs competing
  • 5 continents

A taste ... of history

Everyone - young and old - loves gelato. But few know the origins of this fresh, nutritious, fun and fashionable food. The inventor, in 1559, was the ingenious Florentine artist Bernardo Buontalenti that - invited by the Granduke Cosimo I to take care of a banquet - at the Medici court served the first cold cream made from milk, honey and egg yolk. It was a triumph! The dishes, at the time, were synonymous with power, imagination, creativity of the noble kitchens: a pride to amaze and sometimes intimidate guests. From here the ice cream began to spread, first in Italy and then in France, where it came in the wake of Caterina De 'Medici with the butcher-confectioner Ruggeri.


The Gelato Festival was the idea of Gabriele Poli, a young Tuscan entrepreneur who in 2010 decided to organise an event in Florence dedicated to artisanal gelato, inspired by the link between that city and gelato and the creation of ​​the first gelato recipe by the multifaceted architect Bernardo Buontalenti in 1559. Given the success of the first editions, Poli and his staff decided to broaden the festival's horizons by expanding first to other Italian cities and then to the great European metropolises in search of the best gelato in the world.

In 2017 the Gelato Festival crossed the Atlantic for the first edition in the United States, and then in 2018 and 2019 it travelled to Japan for two more stages and embraced the whole planet with the world championship of the Gelato Festival World Masters, the most coveted individual gelato tournament in the world, a journey with hundreds of competitions in four years on five continents, with technical and popular juries judging who would qualify to become world champion. Not only the industry's leading international competition, but a project to strategically position artisanal gelato and the entire supply chain, with the aim of involving every 4 years 5,000 gelato artisans from around the world in the challenge and generating a 15% increase in the trade.


The organization of the Gelato Festival is made up of a network of professionals operating in Florence, Rome, London and Los Angeles, as well as partners spread throughout the rest of the world.

Gabriele Poli
Founder and President
Adriana Tancredi
Operations Manager: team coordination and programming; front-woman of the Gelato Festival
Daniele Palazzoni
America Cofounder
Giuseppe Tonini
Sponsorship & partnership manager: development of synergies with partners, co-branding with Gelato Festival stakeholders
Mathijs Vanwoerkum
Coordinated image, Look & Feel of Gelato Festival
Jessica Bima
Project Assistant: support for recruitment and obtaining the locations of Gelato Festival
Ilaria Bolognesi
Project Assistent: innate problem solving and reference point for gelato chefs during events
Marco Gemelli
Press Office & Comunication Manager: Professional journalist, oversees relations with foreign media and agencies as well as expert in technical juries.
Elena Cerrini
Administration and accounting
Amy Lainchbury
Photographer and Social Media Manager
Nicholas Schepisi
Business Manager
Carpigiani Gelato University Maestros
Support for the spread of gelato culture
Annalisa Carnio
Connector, PR Manager Germany and Austria