Family Owned & Operated
For Over 40 Years
Our father, Giovanni Parente, immigrated to the United States in 1962 from Naples, Italy. Giovanni moved to Las Vegas, and worked in the casino business for several years before opening the Via Veneto Italian restaurant. Growing up in Naples, as a young boy Giovanni enjoyed a passion for delicious food and sweets, including homemade gelato made with the freshest local ingredients.
Yearning to enjoy his favorite Italian gelato again, in 1979, Giovanni returned to his native Naples to study with the old schoolmaster gelatiaos and learned to craft authentic “Gelato Artigianale.” When Giovanni returned to Las Vegas, his reputation for producing the finest quality gelato and sorbettos attracted major casinos, restaurants, and shops. A family-owned business, Italcream is dedicated to continuing Giovanni’s legacy of creating the highest quality gelato and sorbettos.
The Origin of Gelato
Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, derived from the Latin word “gelātus.” With anything that goes back as far as the second century BC, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when or who discovered gelato. Biblical and historical records indicate that frozen treats made from snow and flavored with fruit juices and other natural sweeteners were enjoyed by King Solomon and Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar.
Over a thousand years later, Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe that closely resembled what is now called sherbet. Historians estimate that this recipe evolved into ice cream sometime in the 16th century. England seems to have discovered ice cream at the same time, or perhaps even earlier than the Italians. “Cream Ice,” as it was called, appeared regularly at the table of Charles I during the 17th century. In 1533 ice cream was introduced to France when Italy’s Catherine de’ Medici married Henry II and brought her Italian chefs to the French Court. The first ice cream store opened in Italy in 1600. In France, the famous Café Procopio opened in 1686 and features Italian ice cream to this day when Italy’s Catherine de’ Medici married Henry II and brought her Italian chefs to the French Court. It wasn’t until 1660 that ice cream was made available to the general public. The Sicilian Procopio introduced a recipe blending milk, cream, butter, and eggs at Café Procope, the first café in Paris.