21st Century
The Future
World Travel
Books & Film
Original Fiction
Opinion & Lifestyle
Politics & Living
Film Space
Movies in depth
Kid's Books
Reviews & stories

The International Writers Magazine Italian Ice Gream:

Granite Di Belvedere - The Italian Treat
Raymond K. Clement

During the “dog days” of August there is a frozen treat sold on the streets of “Little Italy” in Boston ’s North End. It is called  (erroneously) Italian Ice. In its simplest form it is nothing more than crushed ice covered with a flavoured syrup (lemon, lime, orange et cetere).

It is a poor imitation of what real Italian Ice is – even to the name – in Italy it is known as Granita. And some of the best granite is manufactured by the Gelateria Cipolla located in the Piazza Dante high above Belvedere Marittimo, on the Tyrreanean Sea.

Under the shade of ancient cypress trees with additional shielding from the summer sun provided by the umbrellas of the Gelateria one finds a table. The cobblestoned piazza  is crowded on this lazy afternoon, there are other purveyors of ice cream but the Bar Cipolla has the premier corner location. 

Shortly,  large menus are provide filled with a dazzling array of tempting ice cream delights from smooth chilled milkshakes to an indecent banana split that should only be attempted by those with a gargantuan appetite.  One finds a table under the cool shade trees on a lazy Saturday afternoon. The heat of the day is left behind. Shortly, a menu of geleteria delights is presented. But we have been drawn here by the information that the finest granite’s in all of Italy is served here. We shall soon find out.

Gelateria Cipolla (the family name) has been at the same location for over 54 years of continuous operation. The current operators are Pina Martorello and Giulio Perrone: grandaughter of the founder, and her husband. They use the same methods of preparation used since the gelateria was opened.

Presently there are twenty two different granite available. From the “flagship” lemon to the exotic banana and kiwi, luscious melon and café, to name just a few. I opted for the fruit of the bosco which is a melange of wild berries found in the neighboring hills this time of year. It was pure delight. The reason the granite of the Geleteria is so special is that the taste of the fruit is paramount. There is no “ice” added, the flavour comes from the fruit and only the fruit.

What is the secret? Pure ingredients, with nothing added. For example, lets take the melon flavoured granita. It is made by crushing the melon, fresh melon, to almost a puree a little water, and then it is chilled. The juice of the fruit is the “ice”. On occasion a little sugar may be added, but the owners’ stressed that no artificial flavorings or preservatives of any kind are ever used. My guests tried different flavours, each stating that theirs was the best of the lot. It is not cheap. A dish will cost you about 3.50 euro per serving. But it is a heaping dish. It is well worth the added expense.

Pina and Giulio are always on the lookout for new fruits and combinations to offer to their growing list of customers. (Wild blueberry is presently under development). I was allowed a brief peek at the metal tubs where the  granite is kept prior to serving.  Pina said that the granite needs to be constantly  stirred to prevent it from freezing. 

People come from as far away as Salerno to enjoy this granite. Some bringing along small portable refrigerators to take some home. The Gelateria is in the heart of the burgeoning summer beach vacation crowd. August will find it difficult to find a vacant table, giving one an ample chance to visit shops around the Piazza Dante.

We thanked our hosts and assured them that they would see us again – soon. The twisting road down the mountain led us to the highway, SS 18: North to Praia A Mare and south to Paola on the Tyrrenean Sea . Gelateria Cipolla is about seventy kilometre from Cosenza .  Gelateria Cipolla has acquired a well deserved reputation. It is worth the trip, the view from Belvedere Paese is an added bonus.
Verba volant, Scripta manent. (Roman proverb)

© Raymond Clement October 2008
rkmclement at

More Travel


© Hackwriters 1999-2008 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibility - no liability accepted by or affiliates.