Ice cream is rarely at the top of my list when I’m home in London and deliberating dessert, but as soon as I set foot in Italy my immediate thought always turns to gelato. I was in Rome over the past week with some friends where we managed to fit in, without fail, two to three gelati a day, one between each main meal – ‘gelato elevenses’ is now officially a thing everyone. After this week as well, I also fully understand the stress and exhaustion of walking for (what feels like) hours trying to find an authentic, non-tourist trap Italian gelateria. It calls for commitment, stamina, and perseverance, particularly when having to work your way across all those cobbled Italian streets. However, hopefully these recommendations of gelaterie in Rome (tried and tested by myself and some friends) will save you from having to endure the same gelato hunt.
1. Fatamorgana, http://www.gelateriafatamorgana.com
Now I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but, no gelato experience will ever live up to the one I had in Fatamorgana – this place is definitely my favourite. The ingredients used in making their delicious and creative flavours are all natural, without chemical additives and artificial flavours, and the staff are extremely friendly and welcoming. Their gelato flavours range from the traditional (chocolate, strawberry, etc.) to the experimental (chocolate and tobacco or chocolate and wasabi) and their creations are seasonal, depending on the quality and availability of the produce, spices, and herbs used. Moreover, for those with specific dietary requirements and/or are very health conscious, this place also offer many gluten- and lactose-free gelato options. I went for pistachio and chocolate, my go to combination, and I highly recommend it if you are stuck on what to get! They have a number of branches around Rome, the most central ones in Trastevere and Monti, both of which are close to the sites, churches, and ruins of the city.
2. Old Bridge Gelateria, http://gelateriaoldbridge.com/en
This gelateria boosts an impressive selection of flavours at an affordable price, and all served by friendly staff. Located near Saint Peter’s and the Vatican, it is the ideal break after a long and tiring day of sight-seeing. However don’t be put off by the queue, the men working behind the counter are fast with their ice cream scoopers and the line does die down quite quickly. I definitely recommend the blueberry flavour – one of my absolute gelato highlights!
3. Il Gelato di San Crespino, http://www.ilgelatodisancrispino.it
Whenever I go to Rome, San Crespino is always on the list of places friends recommend I go to. Originally featured in the book and film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, it is understandable why Elizabeth Gilbert/Julia Roberts came here to eat themselves to a better state of mind. As their tasty gourmet gelati have proven to be so popular, queues can sometimes form but the wait is always worth it. Branches can be found near the Trevi Fountain and by the Pantheon.
4. Gelateria Artigianale Corona, http://www.gelateriacorona.com
This small gelateria can be easy to miss along the busy Largo Arenula. It’s natural and unique flavours (for example chocolate with prune and rum or rice with lemon) make it a popular hotspot for locals as well as tourists, and should definitely be included on any gelato tour of Rome. Also conveniently close to the charismatic Jewish Ghetto, an area of the city particularly lauded for its food, you could walk to this gelateria post-meal and enjoy a refreshing dessert sitting on the benches outside.
5. Grom, http://www.grom.it
With branches all over Italy, and a couple around the world, Grom is probably one of the more mainstream gelaterie – the horror! – BUT it makes really good quality and tasty gelato. The Crema di Grom flavour is definitely one to try, kind of like Stracciatella with biscuits, and the Bacio and Marron Glaces flavours should also not be missed. Most of the branches in Rome are quite central, with three near the Palazzo Farnese, the Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon.
One that I didn’t have time to try but have heard really great things about is Fior di Luna in Trastevere (http://www.fiordiluna.com) – definitely on my list for when I next hit Rome! I’d love to hear of any other recommendations, so just leave a comment.
This post was originally written for Visit Rentals.