Gelato Festival is considered the most authoritative event in the world dedicated to Italian gelato. It is a travelling festival crossing Italy, Europe, the United States and Japan, searching for the best gelato in the world. The Festival is powered by large food trucks, one of them being the largest mobile production space in the world, called the "Buontalenti". The Gelato Festival is an international competition, with qualifying rounds held in all countries of the world rewarding the creativity of the best gelato artisans. Numerous events involve starred chefs, master gelato artisans and the most important and prestigious companies in the sector.
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.
Given the success of the first editions, the festival's horizons broadened by expanding first to other Italian cities and then to the great European metropolises in search of the best gelato. 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.
In the last European edition, the Gelato Festival travelled on a 22-day tour, nine days of which were dedicated to B2B: between the Italian stages (Florence, Milan, Rome, Turin) and the European ones (London, Berlin, Warsaw, Parndorf) more than 200,000 visitors attended the events, as well as 144 gelato artisans in competition plus over 500 gelato artisans and professionals present during the tour. Over 1,000 kg of artisanal gelato were served each day in 800,000 mini cones and cups. Finally, 176 hours of courses were taught in the Gelato School.
Starting in 2018 the Gelato Festival embraced the whole planet with the world championship of the Gelato Festival World Masters, a journey with hundreds of competitions over four years on five continents with technical and popular juries judging who would qualify to win the title of 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 5,000 gelato artisans from around the world in the challenge and generating a 15% increase in the trade, with a global media value for products Made in Italy estimated to be worth 50 million euros.
Since then the event has broadened its horizons expanding first to the rest of Italy, then to Europe and the US, then – this year – also to Japan for a total of 80 events. Today the initiative embraces the whole planet with the world championship of the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021.