Best gelato in Rome

Best gelato in Rome

Best gelato in Rome

From China to Rome

Apparently it all started in China more than 3000 years ago, Chinese rulers loved the taste of frozen delicacy made out of snow, fruit, wine and honey. According to some sources, the ice cream reached Europe only in the XVI century along with the great adventurer Marco Polo, who from his voyage to China brought a recipe similar to today’s sorbet.

That hypothesis however is not entirely correct since ice cream was already known in Europe long before the time of Marco Polo. In fact in Ancient Greece they’d soak up the so called “snow from Olympus”. While the Romans to snow added honey, cinnamon, rose water, violets, almonds, dates and figs creating something similar to todays snow cones.

Probably we will never know who invented the first scoop of ice cream but what can not be argued is that it were the Italians who made it a worldwide famous treat.


The essence of Italian gelato are the two bases; the white base made with milk, cream and sugar and the yellow base with the addition of vanilla and egg yolks. To the two bases, the italian gelato makers then add multiple ingredients to create flavors to fit the season and the fashion.

Nowadays you can even find pizza or gorgonzola flavored ice creams. Although these “bizarre” flavors are more and more frequently appearing in Italy’s “gelaterie” still the most appreciated tastes are the classics: vanilla, chocolate, stracciatella (chocolate chip), pistachio and hazelnut.

Italian’s are also famous for their great fruit ice creams made only with water, sugar and fruit. Another very popular treat specially in the hot summer days is the “grattachecca” – shaved ice cones prepared with sweet syrups and pieces of fresh fruits.

Italians love gelato, so there is no problem finding a “Gelateria” wherever you find yourself strolling in Rome. Opened till late in the summer they attract an incredible crowd of locals and foreigners. In every average Italian gelateria you find at least 10 different flavorous. Many are produced following the old grandma recipes. Scoops of colorful delight are put into wafers (cono) or cups (compete). The only dilemma is what to taste, go with the classical or take a risk on something new and exotic? However, whatever you choose will surely bring heavenly delight to the soul and pleasure to the body…

Rome’s best

Below is a list of ice cream parlors where you can find the best gelato in Rome. All the gelaterie mentioned are located close to the most famous touristic sights of the city. So write down the addresses and head for a tasty adventure you’ll never forget!

Near the Vatican

After spending a day touring in the heart of Christianity you need to regain some energy, the best way is to have a fabulous, tasty, refreshing gelato. Here are some of the best ones in the area.

Old Bridge – Viale Bastioni di Michelangelo, 5

That this a great place is proved by the long winding queue of locals and tourists. Their gelato has an incredibly creamy texture and a very rich taste. Flavors that you shouldn’t miss are variegato all’amarena (cherry and cream), cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate), fragola (strawberry) and pistacchio (pistachio).

Fatamorgana – Via G. Bettolo, 7

This ice cream parlor is located a little bit of of the beaten track so to reach it you have to go on a 20-minute walk north from the Vatican Museums. In fact here you don’t find many tourists, only Romans. This gelato is famous for it’s unique combinations of flavors. Recommended flavors are: cioccolato di madagascar (dark chocolate from Madagascar), crema di mandorle e scorza d’arancia (cream with almonds and candied orange peel), pappavero (poppy seeds) and of course fabulous fruit flavors such lampone (rasperry) ore more (blackberry).

Gelateria dei Gracchi – Via dei Gracchi, 272

This gelateria is named after the street where it’s located, not far from Piazza del Risorgimento.

The ice cream is light and fluffy and of course made on the spot with only the finest seasonal ingredients. Be sure to taste: mela e cannella (apple with cinnamon), ricotta e pera (ricotta cheese and pear), mandorla (almond), nocciola (hazelnut) and pistacchio (pistachio).

Gelarmony – Via Marcantonio Colonna, 34

For those of you who like extremely creamy and rich ice cream, I recommend it’s Sicilian version at gelateria Gelarmony. Authentic and delicious! Here you have to try: mandorle (almond), pistacchio di bronte (pistachio from Bronte), cassata (typical Sicilian cake with ricotta and candied fruit) and cioccolato di Modica (dark chocolate from Modica). They produce also soy-milk ice cream ideal for people intolerant to lactose. I can assure you that the taste is as good as the regular gelato but it has have half the calories!

In the center of Rome

Giolitti – Via Uffici del Vicario, 40

It’s one of the oldest and most famous gelaterie of Rome. It seems that every year that goes by their ice cream (if possible) keeps getting better and better! Fantastic chocolate covered cones into which you can “shove” almost a pound of delicious, colorful gelato. Here the best flavors are the fruits such as; more (blackberry), lamponi (raspberry), fragoline di bosco (wild strawberry). Also the nutella flavor is amazing just as taken right from the jar, only slightly cooler! The real winner though is – Champagne gelato! Yum! Of course, during hot summer afternoons you have to be patient, ‘cos the crowd storming the counter is comparable to that at the Colosseum!

Grom – Via della Maddalena, 30 A or Piazza Navona

This gelateria is a franchise and can be found in Rome as well as in Milan and New York.

Pleasant and modernist design where ice cream is stored in steel containers that keeps it from melting. Posted on the wall is a list of flavors that are available this day. You can also read the suggests combinations of flavors – very useful for the undecided. They also have two different types of cones – the classical one and crispy one. Both are absolutely delicious just as is the gelato!

Ciampini – Piazza di San Lorenzo in Lucina, 29

Usually the gelaterie are small parlors where you buy a cone to go but here at gelateria Ciampini you can enjoy this fresh delight sitting comfortably at the table facing the beautiful Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina. Ciampini specializes mostly in classical flavors and doesn’t offer an enormous variety however the quality of the product is sky high. Fabulous is the yogurt flavor and fragoline (wild straberry). Interesting are also their chocolate topped minature gelato cones.

Gelateria del Teatro – via di San Simeone, 70

An amazing geateria where a part tasting the gelato you can also watch how it’s made. In fact what makes this ice cream parlor so famous, a part it’s extremely high quality is also an open window into the “laboratory” where only fresh seasonal ingredients are transformed to create some really unique flavors. Try cioccolato fondente al nero d’Avola (dark chocolate with nero d’Avola wine), fico (fig), mandorla e ricotta (almond and ricotta cheese) and nocciola (hazelnut).

San Crispino – via della Panetteria, 42

Located close to the Trevi fountain is one of the most beloved gelaterie of the city. Only fresh ingredients with no additives. Light and tasty served only in cup in order not to change the taste of gelato. Some unique flavors that you can try here are: armagnac, whiskey, liquirizia (licorice), uva fragola (straberry grape), mirtillo (blueberry) and arancia selvatica (wild orange).

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