A Gelato Expedition in Rome

Travel Blog By J
October 2011

Rome is probably one of the most popular walking cities in the world.  Every turn leads to a fountain, a monument, an obelisk or a historical ruin.  And just as many these important structures are, so are the Gelaterias!  You can find them everywhere, enticing tourists like me to come in and say hello to all of those yummy flavors on display :)

We went out of our way to see these gelaterias, following the reviews and recommendations we checked online.  Here are the ones we tasted and liked :)

Rome Centro-Storico - Fontana Di Trevi
Via della Panatteria 42
(near the Trevi Fountain)

Mentioned in Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love," this little gelateria is a local favorite.  A lot of Tripadvisor reviews say that this is the best in Rome so I was quite surprised to see that there was no queue.  Maybe because we came in the evening?  I don't know, but I'm glad we tried it.

The first thing I noticed was that the gelato were not openly displayed.  The flavors were labelled but the gelato tins all had their lids on, so this made choosing what to get doubly hard.  I guess they do this to preserve the quality and texture of the gelato.

I asked the food server what their best seller is and he said it's Honey or the Il Gelato di San Crispino. Their website says that is made of honey collected from Sardinia.  The gelato is light and delicate and I could really taste the honey, without it being overly sweet.

San Crispino's Honey gelato

We also tried the Valrohna chocolate and the pistachio (probably the best pistachio we've tasted from among the gelato places we went to).

A cup costs 3 euros and you can choose up to 2 flavors.  I must add that they don't serve their gelato in a cone, claiming the cone interferes with the taste of the gelato.

Entrance to San Crispino

Via della Lungaretta, 96  (in Trastevere)

Our landlady recommended that we have dinner in Trastevere.  This small medieval town, located just across the Tiber River, is now made popular by the pubs and restaurants that line its narrow cobbled streets. It's nice to walk here, a little less chaotic than Centro-Storico.

Fior Di Luna can be found in the center of Trastevere.  They offer sugar-free gelato, sorbets, frozen yogurt and chocolate.  They only use fruits in season.  I especially liked their "uva" or grape (very refreshing!).  I also tried their lemon (very citrusy!) and their chocolate-orange flavors.  They also have a chocolate-chili flavor, which gives a slight burn in your throat :)

A cup costs 2.20 euros and you can choose 3 flavors in a cup or cone.

Via Uffici del Vicario 40 (close to the Pantheon)

This is my favorite!  The big number of patrons is a testament to how good the gelato is here.  So many choices:  lots of flavors and containers--  in a cup, a regular cone, a chocolate-dipped cone, with extra whipped cream on top?  Their servings are generous so I think it's good value for the buck (err, euro!).  No wonder this is the favorite gelateria of Pope John Paul II  (he likes the chestnut flavor) and the Obama kids.

This masterful creation costs 3.50 Euros:

Dark Chocolate, Pistachio and Raspberry in a chocolate-dipped cone

with whipped cream on top of 3 scoops!

And when in Florence, please try:

Via del Campanile angola via delle Oche, Florence

Also a popular gelato chain.  Definitely a must-try in Florence. I have never had Pear ice cream before and theirs is so delicious.  Their Nougat is also yummy.

A medium cone with 3 flavors costs 3.50 Euros.

Grom in Florence

We also went to see FASSI but it was still closed when we got there.  We thought  we could squeeze in a last gelato stop before we head to the airport.  This is supposed to be the oldest gelateria in Rome.  Fassi -- we will be back for you!

So when in Rome, don't let all the sights consume your time.  Have a break and try all the gelato that you can.  It's fun and you just might find your favorite :)


* All pictures are Skycab's own.