The sun is shining. You’re strolling past some of the world’s most stunning historical attractions. What better to top off this scene than some genuine Roman ice gelato - as the locals call it? Rome is the unofficial home of ice cream – somehow they just know how to do it best. So, to complete your perfect Italian adventure, check out any of the following parlours to discover some of the best gelato in Rome.
1) Il Gelato di San Crispino
The place where it all started. The first of Rome’s gelaterias and the original gourmet ice cream parlour in the city. It’s a little bit on the pricey side at around €7 for a large tub. But then with tales of tourists being charged almost €50 around the city, it’s still a bargain. There are two branches to choose from at Piazza della Maddalena 3 (Pantheon) and Via della Panetteria 42 (Trevi Fountain).
Bored of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate (surely not chocolate?) then why not try something a little different? Ever thought about making wasabi or lapsang souchong ice cream? Well the folks at Fatamorgana did. This very creative gelateria specialises in making gluten-free ice cream and it’s very reasonably priced at just €2 for two scoops. There are a number of branches around the city, so try the ones at Via Roma Libera 11 (Trastevere) and Piazza degli Zingari (Monti).
3) Gelateria del Teatro
With so many ice cream parlours spread across the city, if there’s a long queue outside, you know that’s a good sign. With a list of flavours that changes daily there are plenty of favourites to choose from, but the dark chocolate and wine or fennel and caramelised onions are definitely worth trying. It’s located right next to the old theatre, so you can sit on the stone steps and for a romantic setting. Find it on the Via dei Coronari.
4) Gelateria dei Gracchi
Avoid the real tourist traps around St Peter’s Basilica and head for the Gelateria dei Gracchi. It’s always rated among the top parlours in the city and boasts a flavour list that follows the seasons. In the summer, enjoy fresh treats like apple and mint, with rum spiked chocolate a rich sensation for cooler days. Try the pear and caramel –always a real favourite – covered with toasted pistachio nuts. There are a number of shops to choose from at Via dei Gracchi, Via di Ripetta or Viale Regina Margherita.
5) Gelato Fantasia
Often considered the best by those in the know – and certainly one of the best value places – check out Claudio Torce’s parlour, Gelato Fantasia. Sample eight divine flavours of chocolate or try something more adventurous – gorgonzola for instance. At just under €2 for a cone or tub, it’s great value. There are a couple of venues to head for but the outlet in Viale Aventino near the Circus Maximus is the most convenient.
This elegant little place on the Piazza San Lorenzo isn’t exactly hip, or gluten-free. There are no crazy flavours or ambitious combinations. This is just classic Italian gelato the way it was supposed to be. Sample traditional flavours like pistachio and chocolate, with tiny bits of candied fruit mixed in for a little extra surprise. A real local joint, you won’t find hoards of tourists here – just incredible ice cream.
7) Neve di Latte
Make your way to the northern suburb of Flaminio and ask for Ermanno di Pomponio’s gelateria. The locals will all know what you’re talking about. Again, there are no fancy flavours, just a keen eye for the classics. And they really deliver them well. Pick up a cone of chocolate or hazelnut for around €2.50 and you won’t be disappointed you made the effort to find it. Ask for Via Luigi Poletti.