Why would an Italian couple move with their children from Rome to Lisbon to open a gelato store? And why would they name it after a 1950s actress that no one remembers? We don’t know, but what’s important is that they came.

They use Italian technology and the best Portuguese ingredients, such as water from the Estrela mountain, Vigor milk, Delta coffee, Pantagruel chocolate, rocha pears, Port wine, and Óbidos ginja. The result is gelato so indescribably delicious that we feel the urge to sing: con Nannarella la vita è bella!

Nannarella is located on Rua Nova da Piedade, 68 in Lisbon in the Principe Real neighborhood.

Pure chocolate


Claudio Corallo is an Italian who, in the 1970s, moved to the former Portuguese islands of São Tomé and Principe to make chocolate. He uses the original cocoa plants brought from South America which have low yields but produce perfect beans. Corallo roasts these beans with great care, so they never burn. He then breaks them by hand to remove the germ that makes other chocolates taste bitter. The result is pure chocolate that tastes delicious without the addition of milk or vanilla.

We are lucky that Claudio married Bettina, a Portuguese because their sons came back to Lisbon. They opened a coffee and chocolate shop that serves as the unofficial meeting point for all the gourmets in the city.

The bonbons are amazing, the tablets unforgettable, the sorbet indescribable. They make us realize that all the other chocolates were youthful indiscretions, passing flings. Corallo is the one.

Corallo’s store is in the Principe Real neighborhood, on Rua Escola Politécnica, 4, tel. 21 386 2158.

Santini’s artisan gelato

In 1949 an Italian called Attilio Santini opened a gelato store in Estoril, an idyllic beach resort near Lisbon. There was a tradition of gelato making in his family; his great grandfather had a gelato store in Vienna. Santini’s approach was simple: make the gelato fresh every day using only the very best cream and fruit. Word of mouth quickly made Santini famous in the 1950s. It helped that many of Europe’s dethroned kings and queens lived in Estoril and became loyal customers. One of these customers, Juanito, is now better known as King Juan Carlos of Spain.

There was a feeling of elegance, of relaxed optimism about the 1950s that you can see in the lines of the Fiat cinquecento or hear in Miles Davis’ recording of ‘Round Midnight. It is this sweet feeling that you can still taste today in a Santini gelato.

Santini has currently three locations, one in Lisbon, near Chiado (Rua do Carmo, 9) and two others in beach resorts near Lisbon (S. João do Estoril, Rua Nova da Estação, 5, and Cascais, Av. Valbom, 28F). There can be long lines in the Summer. The wait is an opportunity to consider which of the more than 50 varieties we are going to try. We don’t want to rush into this decision! Click here for Santini’s website.