Pinocchio’s Ice Cream is a Little Taste of Tuscany on Sanibel

By Gillian Birch

As colorful and popular as the fictional character it is named after, Pinocchio’s Ice Cream has been a Sanibel tradition for over 33 years. A visit to this local landmark in the Seahorse Shopping Center on the east end of Sanibel Island is not just a sweet treat, it’s an authentic Italian experience! | Pinocchio's Original Italian Ice Cream Sanibel Island, FL. Must Do Visitor Guides

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Family-Owned Pinocchio’s Ice Cream

Now owned and run by Tom and Donna Puma with their family and staff, they make true Italian gelato the original Italian way. They use their own secret recipes formulated over many years by gelato artisans in Tuscany.

Tom Puma is proud of the fact that all their ice cream is made in-store every day from the freshest high-quality ingredients. They do not use any shortcuts such as powdered mixes or frozen wholesale shipments.

Their scrumptious product line includes original Italian ice creams, sorbets, sherberts and frozen yogurt, so you can enjoy a delicious sweet treat with healthy low-fat ingredients if you choose., Must Do Visitor Guides | Pinocchio's Mixed Berry Frozen Yogurt Sanibel, Florida

Photo courtesy Pinocchio’s

Pick your own Pinocchio Flavor

Top selling authentic Italian favorites include tiramisu, Sicilian blood orange, ginger pear, zuppa inglese and nocciola (a delicious hazelnut concoction). If you want a more local twist, how about their world famous Sanibel Krunch©, Gator Stew©, Dirty Sand Dollar© (caramel ice cream with chocolate chunks and pieces of malted milk balls), Mango Sorbet©, Wedding Bells© and zesty Key Lime Frozen Yogurt, and that’s barely scraping the surface in terms of choice. Pinocchio’s generally has 37 flavors available daily, out of a repertoire of over 130 flavors!, Must Do Visitor Guides | Sanibel Krunch Ice Cream from Pinocchio's on Sanibel, FL

Photo courtesy Pinocchio’s

One very unique feature you’ll only find with every Pinocchio’s ice cream is that each one is topped with a special animal cookie. Cows, donkeys, elephants and camels are all proudly popped onto every Pinocchio’s sundae, dessert and cone as a special bonus. | Ice Cream Sundae from Pinocchio's on Sanibel Island, Florida

Photo courtesy Pinocchio’s

Their crunchy deluxe waffle cones are a delicious treat in themselves. Choose from chocolate dipped, drizzled, or with added nuts or chocolate vermicelli to give your scoops of Pinocchio ice cream the base they deserve. You’ll definitely want to take a seat on the porch and give it your undivided attention, savoring every delicious mouthful.

Must Do Visitor Guides, | Pinocchio' s Ice Cream shop Sanibel Island, FL

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

When it comes to size, Pinocchio’s is certainly not stingy. In fact all their servings of ice cream are huge, making them an extra good value. Scoop them up with the cute little green spoons which you’ll want to take home and re-use them with your take-home pack later!

If you prefer to drink your ice cream, try the refreshing Café Captiva – a chilled coffee and ice cream blend topped with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle and a Pinocchio signature animal cookie too! Other tasty smoothies include berry flavor, raspberry kiss or the tropical Key Lime Sublime Hurricane.

Other Pinocchio specialties include their ice cream patchoux (cream puffs), brioche al gelato and their award-winning Ice Cream tapas for a selection of small delicious bite-size treats. Yum!

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Written by: Gillian Birch | Author Website

Gillian Birch is a freelance travel writer and, whenever possible between trips, she enjoys life in Florida. As the wife of a Master Mariner, she has traveled extensively and lived in some exotic locations all over the world, including the Far East and the Republic of Panama. Describing herself as having "endless itchy feet and an insatiable wanderlust", she continues to explore Florida and further afield, writing about her experiences with wonderful clarity and attention to detail. With a diploma in Journalism from the BCJ, she has published several travel books and ebooks, all available on Amazon under her name. Formerly the Florida Editor for BellaOnline from 2011-13, Gillian is an active member of the International Travel Writers' Alliance and the Gulf Coast Writers' Association, and an enthusiastic guest blogger for Visitor Guides. Learn more about her writing as YourTravelGirl at: and follow her blog around the world at

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