Chiara, Andrea e Stefano Soban

Over a century and a half, Val di Zoldo has been the birthplace, in chronological order, of the crown's jewel of Italy's gelato tradition, who in the late 19th Century flew from here in the Dolomites and landed on German and Austro-Hungarian noble tables; of gelato artisans Paolo Soban and his wife Gianpiera, who met in Koln in the Sixties and in 1977 arrived in Valenza, in the province of Alessandria, and took over the local ice cream shop founded in 1924; and finally of their three children - Chiara, Andrea and Stefano Soban – who followed their parents' footsteps soon and fast, and over a few years opened two more establishments in Alessandria and one in Trieste.

«In the years when we grew, perhaps there was still no gastronomic research, or quality awareness – Andrea Soban says. – But our parents have always worked by breaking eggs and using fresh fruits. It may seem banal, but at one point we looked around and felt like a rare bird». And as rare birds, they went ahead, without any need to replace natural ingredients. Instead they perceived and followed a stronger need which to this day coincides with the pride and feeling of responsibility of being excellent interpreters of the great tradition of Veneto, the one that comes from that valley in the Dolomites of Belluno that everyone knows as the "valley of gelato producers".

To this day, in their ice cream shops not only you will taste the authentic gelato zoldano, but you can often feel surrounded by a timeless atmosphere, following the lost ritual of a bowl of gelato or a gelato served on the plate, but without the strength of these roots ever making the Sobans loose their propensity for the future, with a Progetto gelatoAndrea's now famous book, that moves towards the research of a gourmet cone.


Identità Golose

This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad