With the likes of Rome, Venice and Milan, Rimini isn’t exactly Italy’s most popular destination. But each year, SEGIP rolls around and the small coastal town is taken over for five days of Gelato, Coffee and Pastry celebration. I headed out there with our client, Northern Bloc to get a taste of how things are done on the sunnier side of Europe.

The show runs for five days, because frankly, it would take that long to get around and see everything. If you’ve been to Birmingham’s NEC, you might think you know what to expect. But you’ll need to triple it, then throw in a few extra football stadiums before you can begin to comprehend the vastness. Divided into core sections (including a ‘mini’ chocolate area), our first port of call was to conquer all things Gelato. The exhibitors couldn’t offer up scoops fast enough to the packed crowds.

Charcoal ice cream was the in thing and vegan offerings a plenty though there was a definite lack of natural vegan products. The DIY concept of creating your own personal ice cream was replicated in varying degrees. From wannabe Magnum dipping bars to live mixing experiments. Discovering the boozy ice lolly stand and grabbing a frozen Aperol Spritz was a refreshing break to our ice cream adventures. Despite a lot of repetition of the classics, you could get your hands on plenty of ‘out there’ flavours, like Dark Chocolate & Dragon Fruit, Pistachio & Pomegranate, and one simply labelled ‘emoji’. Did I mention the two Wonka-esque chocolate waterfalls and stumbling across a seven tier cake made from pastries!

Ice cream making is a serious business, and it takes some specialist kit to create even seemingly simple things, like the ripples on top of your tub so there was plenty of tech innovation on offer. Watching a robotic arm scoop and then present a cone was a particular highlight.

After a long day of exploring and sampling ice cream we left well and truly satisfied, wondering if we’d ever be able to ice cream again.

We absolutely would. And we did, on day two…