Ah, gelato. The quintessential Italian treat.
In Rome, there’s no need to wait for a special occasion to eat it. Or skip a meal to earn it. There’s no guilt associated with having it (even every day). It’s just a given. A necessary, needed part of life.
Our first week in Rome, we witnessed the unparalleled importance gelato plays in Italian culture. No matter what time of day, even in the dead of winter, people stroll the sidewalks with a cone in hand. A piccolo (“small”) only costs €2.50 and includes two scrumptious flavors. It’s a perfect example of how a country makes simple pleasures affordable for everyone. Not sure what goes well together? Just ask the server, Cosa mi consigli? (“What do you recommend?”)
Gelato can be traced as far back as the 1500s. While exact origins are unclear, Italy was the first country to introduce gelato to Europe. Since then, it’s evolved into a beloved delicacy enjoyed all over the world. But not all gelato is the same. In Italy, artisanal style reigns supreme. Here, a 55% market share separates gelato made by hand from its mass-produced counterparts. And it’s a difference you can taste.
La Dolce Vita (“the sweet life”) takes many forms in Italy. Gelato is the literal taste of it. It’s a tradition we’ll happily be a part of any and every day. Without further ado, here are our top picks for gelato shops in Rome:
Rome’s most popular gelateria is also one of the oldest. Established in 1890, family-owned Giolitti has been scooping out generous portions in their idyllic location near the Pantheon for over a century. Those looking to linger can find a seat in the old-school parlor. It’s the perfect way to relax after exploring the city. Enjoy the scene as servers in traditional uniforms bring out towering gelato creations to locals and tourists alike.
For good reason, this popular gelateria has several locations in Rome. Known for its inventive menu, Fatamorgana serves up all-natural, gluten-free gelato. For the adventurous, try Thumbelina made of rose petals, violet flowers and Sorrento walnuts. For romantics, you can’t go wrong with Bacio del Principe (“Kiss of the Prince”) made of chocolate, hazelnut, almond milk, ginseng and mint.
Don’t be fooled by the humble little storefront off of Piazza Navona. Frigidarium is a force to be reckoned with. This gelateria positions itself as a workshop, using quality raw materials to craft bold, artisan flavors. For more luxury, opt to coat your gelato in their signature dark or white chocolate dip at no extra charge. Be warned, you won’t be hungry for a while…
4. Gelateria dei Gracchi
This unassuming gelateria is like a star waiting to be discovered. Ambitious, talented and unique, it features gelato made of high quality ingredients and wildly inventive combos. From the servers’ pristine white uniforms to the no-nonsense space, it’s clear Gelateria dei Gracchi is serious about their craft. Its multiple locations in Rome all serve simple, handmade goodness.
5. Pico Gelato
Tucked in the Flaminia neighborhood of northern Rome, Pico Gelato is all about being naturally good. Owned by Argentinian transplants with a passion for freshness, this humble gelateria uses only local raw materials and seasonal fruit. Their simple approach brings a focus on authenticity. Everything at Pico Gelato tastes like it’s made with love.
6. Neve di Latte
Hands down, Neve di Latte outshines all other gelaterias in terms of flavor, texture and overall yumminess. Owner Ermanno di Pomponio sources high quality ingredients from all over the world. The result is an elevated taste that’s pure magic. Incredibly creamy, bursting with flavor, it leaves you wanting more. Currently, there are two locations of Neve di Latte and imagine many more to come.
Top 6 Gelato Shops in Rome
Giolitti – Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, 00186 Roma RM, Italy (historic center, near Pantheon)
Fatamorgana – Piazza degli Zingari, 5, 00184 Roma RM, Italy (Monti)
Frigidarium – Via del Governo Vecchio, 112, 00186 Roma RM, Italy (historic center, near Piazza Navona)
Gelateria dei Gracchi – Via dei Gracchi, 272, 00193 Roma RM, Italy (Prati)
Pico Gelato – Via Donatello, 81, 00196 Roma RM, Italy (Flaminio)
Neve di Latte – Via Luigi Poletti, 6, 00196 Roma RM, Italy (Flaminio)