As I walked past and heard this little girl cries on a hot sunny day in Rome, I couldn’t help but laugh at the memory of my mum trying her best to reason with me that ice cream was a treat and a reward for good behaviour and most certainly could not be the proper and only thing to have for dinner!
How wrong could she be and if I was asked what would be my last meal on this earth, I wouldn’t think twice and would expect nothing more than homemade Italian gelato and a ton of flavours to satisfy my taste! Throughout the years my passion hasn’t waned and in fact if anything has grown to such an extent, that on my many trips to Rome, I have made it my mission to discover the best quality and best value for money ice cream there is!
The creamy and smooth texture of Italian ice cream is unlike any shop-bought variety you’d find in the rest of Europe and in Rome or for that matter in the whole of Italy you will still find ice cream shops producing gelato the traditional way and with such a huge variety of flavours to choose from, it’s a true feast for the palate and one to be experienced to be believed.
In recent years there has been a movement towards artisanal gelato and one that only contains the freshest ingredients, with no artificial flavours, colours or thickeners and like with any other type of food, try and stay away from the touristy traps that charge you a fortune for a single cone and instead it’s well worth hunting down the best gelato your euros can buy and become an expert just like the locals.
Here are some of my favourite places where to enjoy excellent gelato in Rome:
Ci gusta! – via della Palombella 32, just a few steps away from the Pantheon. Apart from delicious ice cream, here you can also enjoy the best frozen yoghurt in the City.
Gelateria del Teatro – via di San Simone 70, just off via dei Coronari, between Piazza Navona and the lungotevere Marzio. This gelateria artigianale uses carefully sourced ingredients like almonds from Bari and pistachios from Sicily resulting in heavenly ice cream.
Della Palma – via della Maddalena 20/23 near the Pantheon, it’s like the Baskin Robbins of Rome with countless flavours and varieties to choose from.
Alberto Pica – via della Seggiola 12, near the Ghetto not far from largo di Torre Argentina and Campo de’ Fiori. You’ll get the best fruit flavours around especially apricot and wild strawberry.
Fior di Luna – via della Lungaretta 96. In the heart of Trastevere, one of the most picturesque districts of Rome just across the river Tiber, this popular gelateria uses organic and fair trade ingredients to produce its intensely flavoured treats.
And last but not least my absolute favourite and a local gelateria when I’m Rome and quite often visited even late in the evening:
Mela e Cannella – via Oderisi da Gubbio 71, around the viale Marconi area (where I was brought up!) and behind the Trastevere station. The chocolate gelato made from Belgian chocolate is some of the best in the City and also try malaga (rum and raisin) and crema al porto (cream of port wine). Locals come from around Rome for a fix.
Well since it’s nearly dinner time, where’s my tub of gelato??!