Anyone living in the centre of the Rome who has a passion for ice cream will be familiar with the bar and ice cream emporium in Via della Seggiola of Alberto Pica, president of the Italian association of artisan ice cream makers. Under the charming pergola at his bar just beside the ministry of justice it is possible to taste some of the most delicious flavours of ices, from rose to rice with cinnamon. Pica says that ice cream consumption in Italy has increased by more than nine per cent compared with 2005, and that the inhabitants of Rome are the countrys largest consumers, downing some 20 kg per head each year.

Every year there are new inventions; for instance, La Gelateria dei Gracchi in Via dei Gracchi (Prati) is launching essence of green apple and absinthe or coffee with aniseed, while on the other side of town Il Gelato in Viale dellAeronautica (Eur) proposes salt ice creams flavoured with mortadella and pistachio, gorgonzola, Philadelphia cheese and nut. In all there are about 300 flavours of ice cream on offer throughout Rome, average cost 12,50 per kg or 1.50 per cone.