Think of Rome and the first three things that spring to mind are: the Colosseum, vespas and…gelato.But as every visitor to the eternal city soon discovers, there’s a huge difference between the neon-hued ice-creams common to tourist traps and authentic artisanal gelato. As with most things in Italy, follow the queues of Italians. You might have to wait a little longer for your passeggiata , but we promise it’ll be worth it.
We’ve compiled a list of our top 5 favourite gelaterias across Rome. There are, of course, many more fine establishments to be discovered, but there are the ones we’ve revisited time and again for consistently tasty treats.
OtalegInside the Otaleg ‘laboratory’, tradition and innovation are combined with manual skill and technology, to create some of the best gelato in Rome.Otaleg (which is gelato spelled backwards) has two locations for ice-cream lovers: Colli Portuensi in Monteverde Nuovo and Via San Cosimato in Trastevere. As well as classic favourites like pistachio, the genius gelateria also creates new taste sensations such as vanilla bourbon with a touch of ginger, gorgonzola gelato and the intriguingly-named Dragon’s Blood.
La RomanaWhen this gelateria opened as a family-run business in 1947, its lure for customers was probably more the gelato itself than the model-like servers you’ll find behind the counter today.Nevertheless, this place – found at three locations around the city to satisfy your cravings wherever you are in Rome – makes damn good gelato, especially comforting favourites like biscotti della nonna, topped with zabaglione.All three outlets are ideal choices for the more conscious consumer, with strict rules on how the gelato is produced and environmentally-friendly packaging for their products.
Be ready to queue – but remember that where you find lines of waiting Italians, you find quality nosh.
Found at: Via Ostiense (Ostiense), via Cola Di Rienzo (Prati), Via Venti Settembre (Repubblica)
FatamorganaRose petals, avocados and even white wine have graced the ingredients list of this creative gelateria. The menu changes often, with new flavours to tantalise your tastebuds. But the classics here are equally as exciting, made well with good ingredients.Found at: Via Roma Libera (Trastevere), Via Laurina (Via del Corso), Via dei Chiavari (centro Storico), Via Aosta (Re di Roma), Piazza degli Zingari (Monti), Via Leone IV (Prati).
FassiThis place isn’t just another gelateria, it’s a Roman institution.From 1880, the Palazzo del Freddo Giovanni Fassi has been delighting locals and visitors, young and old, with its top-notch gelato.Try their speciality, the Sanpietrino. This semifreddo is inspired by Roman cobblestones (but don’t worry, the taste is very different to licking a Roman road).
Found at: via Principe Eugenio
La GourmandiseYou’ll find the whole spectrum of ingredients at La Gourmandise, from vanilla, chocolate and almond to lavender, saffron and rosewater.Refined and authentic, this a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gelateria. No gaudy signage, no fussy décor – there’s no need for them to shout about their high quality produce. The gelato, served only in cups, no cones, speaks for itself.Located in Monteverde Vecchio, it’s a little further out of the centre, but worth the trip and it’s a lovely leafy residential area to wander around, cup of gelato in hand.
Found at: Via Felice Cavallotti (Monteverde Vecchio)
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By Catherine Evans
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