From the creamy cannoli to crunchy biscotti, Italy is home to some of the world’s most mouthwatering pastries and if you’re looking for the very best of the bunch, this list could provide the answer. The Gambero Rosso, the equivalent of the Michelin guide or the Bible for Italian foodies, has released its annual list of the very best pastry shops up and down the country. In total, 560 shops were included in the guide, from all corners of the country.
Eateries were awarded points for different categories, prioritizing form and substance. Those with scores above 90 earned the ‘Tre Torte’ title, ‘three cakes,’ the guide’s version of three Michelin stars. This year, a total of 21 bakeries were given the esteemed honor.
Leading the pack for the second year in a row was the Pasticceria Veneto in Brescia, with 95 points. The bakery is run by Iginio Massari, who has published several books on the art of creating cakes and is one of the judges on the Italian TV version of MasterChef. He also trains the Italian team for the annual ‘Pastry World Cup.’
This year for the first time, the awards included a prize for the best savory pastries which, the judges noticed, were “experiencing a moment of glory” in the culinary world. The winner of the accolade was Martesana in Milan, which was celebrated for its ‘mignon salati,’ available in 12 varieties.
If you want to be ahead of the curve in dessert trends, the Cannavacciuolo Bakery in Novara, Piedmont, was crowned the best new opening of the year. Judges remarked that the chef “blends the best regional traditions and an interesting creative vein.”
The bakeries that made the list (in order of points scored) are: 1. Pasticceria Veneto, Brescia; 2. Dalmasso, Avigliana; 3. Biasetto, Padua; 4. Maison Manilia, Montesano sulla Marcellana; 5. Besuschio, Abbiategrasso; 6. Gino Fabbri Pasticcere, Bologna; 7. Pasquale Marigliano, Ottaviano; 8. Pasticceria Agricola Cilentana Pietro Macellaro, Piaggine, Sardinia; 9. Acherer, Brunico; 10. Nuovo Mondo, Prato; 11. Belle Hélène. Tarquinia; 12. Bompiani, Rome; 13. Cortinovis, Ranica; 14. Cristalli di Zucchero, Rome; 15. Dolce Reale, Montichiari; 16. Ernst K Knam, Milan; 17. Rinaldini, Rimini; 18. Sal De Riso Costa d’Amalfi, Minori; 19. Sciampagna, Marineo; 20. Caffè Sicilia, Noto, Syracuse and 21. Antico Caffè Spinnato, Palermo.
Keep this list handy for your next visit to Italy. You’ll never know when an urge for sweetness will overcome you.