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European Artisanal Gelato Day, which has been celebrated every 24th March since 2013

The idea took shape in March of 2009.

The application to set up a European Artisanal Gelato Day was officially presented to the Strasbourg Parliament by MEP Iles Braghetto, after being contacted by Longarone Fiere president Giovanni De Lorenzi and director Paolo Garna, following a campaign by Artglace President José Luis Gisbert Valls.

Unfortunately, they were unable to get enough signatures (half plus one) from their fellow Europarliamentarians.

Decisively, over the years, a number of Europarliamentarians with an interest in promoting Artisanal Gelato then started to come on board, including such MEPs as Giancarlo Scottà in 2010 and Antonio Cancian in 2011.

In 2012, five MEPs presented the Declaration: Sergio Silvestris and Paolo De Castro (Italy), Eva Ortiz Vilella (Spain), Ewald Stadler and Andreas Molzer (Austria).

Once the quorum was finally reached, on 5 July 2012, with 387 votes in favour, thanks mainly to the efforts of MEP Sergio Silvestris, the European Parliament officially established European Artisanal Gelato Day, underlining, among other reasons, that: “of all fresh dairy products, artisanal gelato is a product of excellence in terms of food quality and safety, raising the profile of agri-food products in each individual Member State”.

From 2010 to 2012, the event was run by Fausto Bortolot of Artglace, whose capacity and timely, invaluable resoluteness helped overcome all bureaucratic obstacles and rules, enabling them to hand out artisanal gelato within the European Parliament building itself.


After the months of the pandemic, 2022 saw a record sales of artisanal ice cream in Europe, with a turnover of almost 10 billion euros, up 13% compared to the previous year (9.83 billion euros in 2022 compared to 8.7 billion in 2021). The growth, to which inflationary dynamics certainly contributed, was mainly fueled by a particularly favorable climate and the recovery of tourist flows which, in some areas, made it possible to reach peaks of over +20% in sales trends. And despite the increase in the costs of energy and raw materials keeping the profitability of artisan businesses under pressure, the presence of ice cream parlors in Europe remains stable, which is confirmed as the absolute protagonist in the world when it comes to artisanal ice cream. The Old Continent is in fact in the front row both in terms of the presence of ice cream parlors (over 65 thousand points of sale and 300 thousand employees), with Germany (9,000), Spain (2,200), Poland (2,000), England (1,100) and Austria (900) as protagonists, followed by Greece (680) and France (450), and in terms of artisanal consumption, with Italy, Germany, Spain and Poland at the helm, without forgetting the role of countries such as Austria – protagonist of the 2023 edition of Gelato Day with the Flavor of the Year, Apfelstrudel, as well as France, Belgium and the Netherlands.


Even more important are the growth trends in Italy, where the artisanal ice cream supply chain has a total turnover of 3.8 billion euros and employs over 100 thousand people. In 2022, sales of artisanal ice cream reached €2.7 billion between ice cream parlors, pastry shops and ice cream bars, up 16% compared to 2021 (€2.3 billion in 2021 and €1.85 billion in 2020). The number of ice cream parlors in Italy is also increasing (+139 points of sale), with Lombardy, Sicily and Campania on the podium of the regions with the highest presence of artisanal production workshops. The impact of the purchase by companies of agri-food products is also growing by 5% per year, from milk (as much as 230 thousand tons) to sugar, from fresh to dried fruit, such as Bronte pistachio (1,650) and Piedmontese hazelnuts (1,900), two of the most loved and sold flavors. And that's not all: once again this year, Italy confirms its world leadership in the field of ingredients and semi-finished products (65 companies involved and a turnover of 1 billion euros) and its leading role in the machinery, showcases and equipment sector (with a turnover of about 700 million euros and exports equal to 70% of production).


Domenico Belmonte


Since 2015, the Artglace Assembly has decided to create a project aimed at enhancing the typical products of each nation adhering to the Confederation; therefore, every year, the official flavor of the "Gelato Day" is dedicated to one of the 7 participating nations.

2013 | Europe
Fantasy of Europe
Fiordilatte variegated with chocolate and caramelized almonds

2014 | Europe
Stracciatella of Europe
Fiordilatte and blood orange juice, variegated with chocolate

2015 | Austria
Chocolate from Austria
Variegated chocolate with apricot jam

2016 | Belgium
Poire Royale
Variegated pear ice cream with pear sauce and speculoos biscuits

2017 | France
Framboise Melba
Variegated raspberry sorbet with peach sauce

2018 | Germany
Black Forest
Variegated chocolate ice cream with sour cherries

2019 | Italy
Mascarpone ice cream with coffee, ladyfingers and cocoa

2020 | Holland
Strawberry variegated yoghurt

2021 | Spain
Antique vanilla cream ice cream, variegated with orange sauce and dark chocolate shavings

2022 | Europe
Sweet Symphony
Chocolate and hazelnut ice cream with fresh ricotta and figs in rum syrup

2023 | Austria
White-based ice cream with apple pulp, flavoured with rum and lemon oil

2024 | Belgium
Gaufre de Liège
Neutral-based ice cream flavored with vanilla and cinnamon, variegated with salted butter and accompanied by a Liège waffle wafer