A museum dedicated to the history and culture of one of Italy's most popular epicurean contributions to the world, gelato, is set to open its doors in September in Bologna.
The Carpigiani Gelato Museum will house 10,000 historical images and documents, showcase the different methods for making gelato, and include multimedia presentations including video interviews and workshops in a space that spans 1,000 square meters (10,764 square feet).
The interactive tour will also explore three main themes: the evolution of the frozen dessert treat, the history of gelato production and technology over time and its consumption.
Carpigiani is the leading gelato machine manufacturer in Italy.
Compared to US-style ice cream, gelato is denser and contains less butterfat content, for a smoother, silkier consistency.
The origins of gelato in Italy are said to stretch back to ancient Rome when frozen desserts were made from snow and ice from the volcanic mountaintops of Etna and Vesuvius and topped with honey.
In the late 16th century, the frozen iced dessert evolved to take on a creamier, richer consistency; artist and architect Bernardo Buontalenti is said to have wowed the court of the powerful Medici family with his gourmet creation. Though confusion still exists as to the exact origins of the Italian ice, Buontalenti is widely credited with its invention.
Opening shrines to popular foods is nothing new. The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Japan is a giant ode to one of the country's favorite meals and snack dishes, showcasing the different regional styles of ramen across the country.
Last month, a pizza lover from Philadelphia opened a museum dedicated to pizza. There's also the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia, dedicated to the Pez candy dispenser, in California, and the Frietmuseum in Bruges is dedicated to all things French fries.
The Carpigiani Gelato Museum open September 27 in Bologna and early reservations are currently being taken.