> SlowTrav > Italy > Restaurants > Reviews > Tuscany Siena

Siena: GELATO: Gelateria Kopa Kabana

Via dei Rossi 52/54

Reviewed by: Jeff Whiteaker from CA, review #2535

When: 2007

Gelateria Kopa Kabana serves what is absolutely the best gelato I have found anywhere in Italy. The standard by which *all* others are judged.

And why is their gelato so mind-blowing? Love. Kopa Kabana's owner clearly puts huge amounts of love into her gelato. That she is dead serious about perfecting the art of gelato is abundantly clear with the first lick. For further proof, just look at the long line of locals that extends way out the door, which you'll witness on any warm afternoon.

For starters, they've got the texture nailed. It is perfectly smooth, creamy, melty, goopy, and dense (but with just the right subtle amount of airiness). It's got that amazingly distinctive texture that a lot of folks seem to have trouble describing (including me), and which many gelaterie (even in Italia) just cannot get right. It does what my girlfriend calls the "snap-back,": as your tongue completes a lick of the scoop, a thick, gooey strand will gently snap back off the tip of your tongue. And as you saunter back to the piazza, the gelato starts to melt on top in that distinctively thick, gooey way. There's not even a trace of dreaded ice or grainy-ness; it is stunningly perfect, heavenly smooth, and highly consistent.

And the flavors are full and intense. The rich, potent Cioccolato Fondente is absolutely to die for. I'm talking sheer ecstacy. Their Nocciola is dead-perfect, as is the Pistacchio, Stracciatella, and Tiramisu. The fruity options are just as full-flavored. Honestly, everyting I've tried here has been intensely satisfying and bursting with flavor; nothing even remotely bland or weak.

Also, the portions are perhaps the most generous I've seen of any gelateria. Not only that, but the prices are totally reasonable. The owner is super friendly and you can usually see her working there during the day.

Kopa Kabana is a bit off the beaten-path. To get there, you just slip down Via dei Rossi and head toward the San Francesco cathedral. It's approximately halfway down and on the right; a mere 5 minute walk from Il Campo. From Roma to Venezia, Kopa Kabana easily rivals all the gelateria I've tried. Gelateria dei Neri in Florence comes mighty close, but Kopa Kabana still sits comfortably in the lead. No self-respecting gelato snob should miss out on this.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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