There are few better ways to cool off during the hot months than with a refreshing scoop of Italian ice. Descended from the Sicilian granita, the frozen treat was brought to the U.S. by Italian immigrants over a century ago. The secret to making it lies in freezing the liquid base during the mixing process, rather than simply adding flavor to the ice. Regardless of its precise origins, Italian ice has come to symbolize summer for many of us. Probably the best way to enjoy it is to visit one of two specialty destinations in Naples:
Rita’s Italian Ice features over 50 flavors, made fresh daily from real fruit. Favorites include Florida Orange, Georgia Peach, Key Lime, Passion Fruit and Strawberry Watermelon. The standard flavors contain between 130-280 calories and 40-60 grams of sugar, but six sugar-free flavors are available (1575 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 1; 239-417-4827).
Since 1996, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice has been scooping up “decadent, yet refreshing treats with maximum flavor.” It all started with founder Jeremy Litwack selling Italian ice in front of the Philadelphia Mint when he was a high school student. Over 40 varieties are served, including sugar-free and cream-based ices and gelatis. The motto is “live life to the coolest” (2405-5 Tarpon Bay Blvd.; 239-431-7855).