I didn’t think it was possible but I literally ate so much gelato that I got sick. We still had over a week left in Italy and for the rest of our time there, I did not want to eat gelato. I never thought I’d have to say no to gelato because I had too much of it.

This happened after I attended a class at Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy. Yes, this does exist and it’s a wonderful place.

It’s not a Willy Wonka factory with gelato river streams, rainbows, and stracciatella rain. The students who attend Gelato University are serious business students who are looking to get into the gelato business and it happens to also involve eating a lot of gelato.

Teacher giving out lessons

The students were from all over the world and their only purpose for coming to Italy and to Bologna was to attend this university. Some of them wanted to take on the opportunity to be the only gelateria in their country, some were curious if this was something they wanted to pursue  and others just wanted to introduce gelato in their existing restaurant. It was interesting to hear everyones story and what brought them to Bologna to attend this university.

There were several different courses. We attended a beginners course and it was their second day in. Here’s a breakdown of their courses. You can register for just one week or multiple weeks. It’s everyday from morning till evening.

Week 1: Gelato Week Base. 5 days of theory and hands-on practices to acquire the basics of gelato production and business setup.

Week 2: Gelato Week Intermediate. 5 days in the classroom and production lab to delve into the details of your gelato. Differentiate your offer with advanced techniques.

Week 3: Gelato Week Internship. 4 days of working in a real gelateria, the Carpigiani Lab.

Week 4: Gelato Week Advanced. 5 days to broaden the assortment of your products.

Week 5: Gelato Week Pioneers. 5 days dedicated to retail in order to build your marketing and business plans for your future gelateria.

The students are preparing to enter the gelato lab.

We only attended one of their classes during the Gelato Week Base. The first few hours were about the basics of making gelato. Could you tell between fake gelato and real gelato? What is gelato made out of? What machines are used to make gelato? These are just some of the things we learned in our class.

Then we went on to actually making the gelato. The students took everything they learned about making gelato and the ingredients to use and used it in the lab. Once they were done making their gelato, we taste tested the final product. This was when we started to eat too much stracciatella gelato.

This was obviously before.
The students all had to make at least one stracciatella and the chocolate had to be even on all layers.
The students hard at work making gelato.
Second layer going on top of the chocolate to make stracciatella.
You have to be quick to catch the falling gelato and put it into the tray while also forming a nice presentation on the tray.

Gelato Museum

As a tourist, you can visit the museum freely at no cost. The museum is fairly new and somewhat interesting. I think there’s room for improvement with the museum. The biggest reason to visit Gelato University as a tourist is for the activities. There’s lessons on how to make your own gelato, a guided tour, you get to see their lab, and of course gelato tasting! If you’re going to visit Gelato University, you’ll want to get one of the activities because I don’t think it’s worth visiting the museum by itself without actually creating and eating gelato.

There’s also training labs for children to teach gelato science and culture. Plus, the kids get to eat gelato and so do you!