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Vivoli Gelateria to Open Soon at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

Darcy Clark

by , Disney Springs Marketing Manager

If you’ve ever had the good fortune to travel to Florence, Italy, chances are you’re familiar with Vivoli Gelateria. I’ve never been myself, but when I searched “Florence Must-Dos” online, Vivoli appeared on every list; wedged between art galleries and chapels, it was the only food venue mentioned in National Geographic’s City Guide to Florence, so you know it must be pretty spectacular!

No immediate plans to visit Italy? No worries. The family-run gelato shop will open its second storefront – and the first outside of Italy – later this month at The Landing, the newest neighborhood to debut as part of the future Disney Springs.

I recently had the chance to connect with Silvana Vivoli, the granddaughter of Raphael Vivoli, one of the company’s founders, to learn more about the gelateria. Founded in 1932 by Raphael and his two brothers, Vivoli Gelateria started out as a dairy – at that time, it was not easy to find raw materials such as milk, eggs and sugar and there were no gelato machines and freezers. After World War II, technology enabled the brothers to follow their passion and produce gelato every day – a far cry from the early recipes that relied on barrels filled with ice and snow from the nearby mountains to keep their concoctions frozen.

Silvana’s father, Piero, learned to make gelato from his father. Silvana learned the craft from him, “keeping the same old tradition,” she shared.


When I asked Silvana why they decided to open a location at Downtown Disney, the answer flowed freely, “Good gelato. In a fantastic place. With fun and family and a sunny destination? It’s a nice combination. Like vanilla and chocolate!”

According to Silvana, the gelato at Vivoli is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop. The artisans plan to use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. “There are ingredients not easy to buy,” muses Silvana, “these are love and passion … when you fall in love with your job, you have these for free – they’re the final ingredients that make everything so special.”

For a special gelato experience that will give you the “feeling of being in Italy for ten minutes,” make plans to try Vivoli Gelateria during your next visit to Downtown Disney. Not sure which flavor to order? I asked Silvana one final question: which is her favorite? “It depends on how I get up in the morning! But really, I cannot do without rice pudding gelato.”

In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria will also serve traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts. For a mouth-watering look at what you can expect, check out the gallery below.


  • My husband and I went there today and the machine for the magic band went down. Our magic band was the only form of payment we had. The manager on duty immediately took care of our order without any questions. This was very nice if her and very much the Disney way of working. It’s nice to know that this family run business that Disney put in downtown disney is keeping up with their way of business. Also, the gelato was delicious and will definitely be back!

  • We were there last weekend 6/13 and the store is open and is fantastic. So many flavors and the taste is to die for cant wait to go back.

  • I’m really looking forward to this as I have been to Florence many times and have never found real gelato outside of Europe, only poor copies of ice cream they call “gelato” as a marketing tool.

  • Visited the original in Florence 30 years ago – have not had gelato anywhere near as good since. Can’t wait until it opens!

  • When did/does it open?

  • I was there yesterday and didn’t even think to ask for the pass discount. Oh well. Our gelato was delicious! My son had the Creme flavored and I had the Chocolate Chip. I also sample the Cafe and that was really good. We are going back for more.

  • So nice to have a Gelateria!! Can’t wait to try it. Doubly nice that we share the same name! I was born in Naples and my parents named me after Silvana Mangano, the actress, who, incidentally is Giada DiLaurentis’ nonna! My father grew up on the same street as her grandfather Dino, next to their flour shop and used to play with them when he was a kid.

  • I am hoping that you will have one or two no-sugar-added options. A gelateria near where I live has a no-sugar-added hazelnut that is heavenly.

  • Hmmmm….must have missed this when our family went to Firenze a few years ago. Then again, we only spent a few hours there. One of THE best gelato stores I’ve been to is Buonocore Gelateria on Capri. Oh, BTW, why haven’t we seen(at least I haven’t seen) any mention of Sprinkles coming to Disney Springs. I learned about it from their website. They are THE best. Been to their Arizona and NYC bakeries. 🙂

  • The gelato at Vivoli in Florence is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Can’t wait to try some Vivoli at Downtown Disney!

  • It sounds like the perfect fun and frivolous way to beat the summer heat!

    • Indeed, it does! You should find a friend and give it a try for a well-deserved sweet treat.

  • Exciting but there is already a storefront in north America. They have a location in NYC. And they had a store in San Francisco in the 80’s.

    • Hi Katherine, this location is the only stand-alone ‘storefront’ outside of Florence. The NYC location is within a Macy’s Department Store. We can’t wait for this new venue to open in the heart of Downtown Disney!

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