Croatia is a beautiful summer destination and if you’ve never been, you should add it to your travel list! As with any summer destination, the sun shines brightly, the temperatures soar, and gelato is essential! Thankfully, Pumparela will satisfy your gelato cravings in Split.
Split is a vibrant coastal city with an Old Town that will transport you back in time. The narrow cobblestone streets, the architectural vestiges of the Roman Empire, and the orange shingled rooftops remind visitors that they’ve entered a territory steeped in history. One of the main attractions – Diocletian’s Palace – harks back to an era when emperor’s ruled supreme and built grandiose complexes for themselves. The ancient palace sprawls out over half of the Old Town and begs to be wandered, preferably with a gelato in hand.
You’ll be happy to know that Pumparela Gelateria is located within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace, just a few steps away from the Peristyle (the central palace square) and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. In other words, it’s in a prime location for gelato consumption!
During my short visit to Split, I bought gelato from Pumparela three times. The shop is a small take away counter, so don’t expect any indoor seating. But with summers in Croatia being gloriously sunny, this isn’t a problem. Pumparela has a variety of flavours to entice you, including classics like strawberry, chocolate, stracciatella, vanilla, lemon, hazelnut, mixed berries, and pistachio. Other more adventurous flavours included panna cotta, cheesecake, black cherry, ricotta and fig, cremino (chocolate and hazelnut cream), and the Pumparela (salted peanuts and caramel).
The first time I visited Pumparela, I tried a scoop of black cherry gelato and it was lovely. The flavour of fresh cherries was evident and the scoop didn’t feel too heavy. A subtle and fruity scoop. My sister got the pistachio gelato, which she kindly let me taste. This flavour was smooth and mildly nutty. I liked it, though I think I would have preferred a stronger pistachio taste. As a side note, can we all agree that pistachio is a massively underrated flavour these days?! There needs to be more pistachio recognition in this world!
On my second day in Split, we were once again craving relief from the heat in the form of gelato and we found ourselves back in front of Pumparela. This time I opted for a two scoops: one Pumparela and one ricotta and fig. Having the name of the shop, I thought the Pumparela gelato would be their stand-out signature flavour, but unfortunately I found it very underwhelming. I didn’t feel like it tasted of anything particular, save for the occasional crunch of a peanut.
The ricotta and fig gelato, on the other hand, was marvellous! As soon as this gelato hit my tongue, I was obsessed. The gelato base tasted clearly of ricotta, without being too cheesy, meanwhile pieces of caramelised fig added a welcome sweetness. The combination of fig and ricotta fused perfectly together into an extremely memorable gelato experience. I loved this flavour so much that after finishing this cone, I craved more and considered buying another scoop.
I wondered if it would be so ridiculous to return to Pumparela in the span of 10 minutes for another gelato fix… nahhhhh, of course it’s not ridiculous! In fact, it’s the most sensible decision! After all, who knows if I’ll ever return to Split. I might as well enjoy it while I can! So back I went to Pumparela for another scoop of ricotta and fig… When I returned, the staff member behind the counter smirked at me as if to say, “You again?”. Yes, me again! That ricotta and fig gelato is crazy good and I’m not ashamed in the slighted to be back for it! I should note that getting this second scoop was 100% the correct decision. #noregrets
The moral of this blog post: Explore the streets of Split with gelato from Pumparela and make sure one of your scoops is ricotta and fig. I promise I won’t judge if you go back for more. Happy gelato eating!
- Cash only.
- Consider Pumparela gelato for your dessert after a delicious lunch at Kantun Paulina.
Address: Poljana Kraljice Jelene 2