Roman Gelaterias
Image by Solitude under Creative Commons License.

Italy, Rome Guide (D): Roman Gelaterias

For ice cream lovers and dabblers this guide is a treasure chest of Rome’s 20 best gelato shops. There are gelaterias everywhere. Many visitors to Rome only have a few days to explore the city. You owe it to yourself to make the most of your time and find the gelato locals eat. Often the authentic stuff is just around the corner from a tourist trap. Why not take the recommendation of someone who has been eating and entertaining in Rome for years?
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Attractions Map

Guide Name: Roman Gelaterias
Guide Location: Italy » Rome
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Destinations: 20
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Frigidarium   Blue Ice   Giolitti   Gelato di San Crispino   Old Bridge   Fonte Delle Salute   Fiocco di Neve   Gelateria del Teatro   Gelateria dei Gracchi   Gelateria Arteginale   Alberto Pica   Fatamorgana   Gelateria Antonini   Gelarmony   Gelateria Al Settimo   Caffe Minerva Gelateria   Gelateria Della Palma   Fior di Luna   Da Checco   Gelateria alla Scala  
Author: Matthew Grady
Author Bio: Matthew Grady is a student living abroad in Europe. Originally hailing from the United States he enjoys traveling and getting to know the history, language, culture, food and customs of people. His background in Classics has produced a desire to know people, the places they live and what is important to them. Overall Matthew hopes to share some of the knowledge of the places he's been with you.
1
Frigidarium

1) Frigidarium

This gelateria is probably the best located in the city. In the downtown district with scenic, winding streets between Piazza Navona and Campo de' Fiori. The shop is small, but it offers a variety of flavors. All of the flavors are homemade and the family members take turns producing gelato and running the shop. Besides a good array of classic flavors, keep a look out for various seasonal ones which you won't see anywhere else. This place is in my personal top three not only for the quality of the gelato, but the location and ever-friendly service you receive.
2
Blue Ice

2) Blue Ice

This is the only chain of gelato shops in Rome that I'd recommend. While there's nothing like the artesian style of a small, family run business, Blue Ice is a close 2nd. Blue Ice always has a good selection of flavors, the shops are clean and the prices are good. They have locations around most of the major Roman sites. This particular location is right in the center of the city, where you may find yourself crossing once or twice per day, that's why I chose it. Besides a good location the benefits include a good taste and bigger-than-average portions. Some of the best flavors they offer are "After Eight" and "Tiramisu." They also offer a selection of slushy type drinks if you are really thirsty. Finally it is the home of the only soy-based gelato that I've seen in Rome, for those watching their dairy intake. I recommend it as the best in its class.
3
Giolitti

3) Giolitti

If you are a fan of great atmosphere and great gelato, Giolitti demands to be seen. This is also among my top three locations. Giolitti is a throwback ice cream parlor with Gelato instead. The gelato counter is just one counter among many in this anything goes sugar shop. The shop has the feel of a classy sweets store in a big city about 100 years ago. Besides the atmosphere, it offers one of the most diverse arrays of flavors found in Rome. Classic fruit and gelato flavors are flanked by rarities such as “Champagne,” “Blueberry” “Cinnamon” or “Rice.” The sheer amount of flavors will beckon you for another visit. The gelato here will be a bit more pricey than other places, but not much really. It is well located near Piazza Navona but some folks get very frustrated finding the back street where it is located. That’s what this guide is for after all, so go for it!
4
Gelato di San Crispino

4) Gelato di San Crispino

This gelateria has received rave reviews from both Romans and tourists alike. While it is not in my personal top three, its in my top five. In any case, those who know the gelato scene in Rome always include this location in a top list. This is the shop featured in the film: “Eat, Pray, Love” for those who enjoy non-traditional tourist sites. The establishment is always clean. The selection of flavors is standard, with some novelty flavors such as: “Honey,” and “Cinnamon.” The staff speak a variety of languages, are friendly and very typically Italian. The location is a big plus for this stop, being just a few blocks from the Barberini metro stop and the famous Trevi Fountain. This plus can also be a negative due to large crowds of tourists in the area, so be prepared to wait during high season and have patience with the swamped staff. The increased travel reviews, movie and heavy tourism has raised the prices a bit, but you are paying for good gelato in a high traffic area.
Image by hslo under Creative Commons License.
5
Old Bridge

5) Old Bridge

Most of my favorite gelaterias are often of the small, artesian and home-made type. Old Bridge is none of these. Yet it occupies my top 5, why? Old Bridge is a small place with a great location, fast and friendly staff, good-quality mass produced gelato and HUGE portions. If you find yourself with quite an appetite for gelato and want to see how much is possible to cram on a cone or in a cup come to Old Bridge. They don’t have any special flavors, just a good selection of standard ones. Even for American serving size standards it’s pretty big. The location is unbeatable: just around the corner from St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican museums. There are always people here but it’s never crowded. The staff are very friendly and they move fast to get you in and out of the small shop. This is a great place to bring kids, they will love the size and taste and parents will love the lack of hassle and low prices. Recommended flavors are: “Ananas” and “Stracciatella.”
6
Fonte Delle Salute

6) Fonte Delle Salute

The gelateria scene of Trastevere is really a dime a dozen. Trastevere is a huge night spot with restaurants and gelato on every corner. It can sometimes get frustrating wandering in the labyrinth like streets and seeing buildings you passed twice already. However the Fonte Delle Salute gelateria happens to be on the main and wide street the cuts through Trastevere. The gelato is of excellent quality and the location offers over 50 flavors. The gelateria offers quality and variety in a neighborhood which often sees scores of mediocre establishments. The space and the possibility of outdoor seating is also a rarity. It’s an excellent stop.
7
Fiocco di Neve

7) Fiocco di Neve

This Gelateria is well located next to the famous Pantheon and within walking distance from the Trevi Fountain and Barberini Metro stop. Besides its good location and average prices there are a variety of up to 50 flavors. Most gelaterias offer a standard chocolate dip for your gelato which quickly cools and hardens around the gelato. Here there are a variety of other dips such as Hazelnut, Torroncino and Zuppa Inglese. This gelateria received rave reviews from the New York Times for their rice based gelatos which come in a variety of combinations of sweet rice with strawberry, chocolate and cinnamon. Check out the excellent coffee slush offered as well.
8
Gelateria del Teatro

8) Gelateria del Teatro

This relatively new gelateria tops the list and comes in as my number one destination. All of the gelato made here is home made with Sicilian style and ingredients. It is settled in a picturesque neighborhood just two minutes from the bustling center. It has a small but clean shop and a nice outdoor area with tables. Specialties such as lemon cheesecake, grandmother’s cream, ricotta-fig-almond and caramel pear are simply amazing. This gelateria has one of the best arrays of chocolate flavors in the city as well with everything from milk chocolate to upwards of a 70% pure chocolate flavor. I have had nothing but rave reviews from friends and colleagues on this gelateria. The prices are good and the staff and service friendly. Overall this is an amazing artesian gelateria with a unique assortment of flavors and unbeatable atmosphere. A trip to Rome would be incomplete without a stop at Gelateria del Teatro.
9
Gelateria dei Gracchi

9) Gelateria dei Gracchi

This Gelateria is nicely situated a short distance from Piazza del Populo and the Vatican. It is not on a particularly commercial street but it has its great tasting gelato to keep business coming. They have done well for themselves as a small business, just opening another location across town. This gelateria uses only fresh ingredients and while not strictly organic, has that flavor to it. Probably best known for its cream flavors, this gelateria also boasts some specialties not found elsewhere such as Gran Marnier, pine nut and ricotta. Many of the nut flavors come from nuts that they grind up right in front of you. Also they have a strong selection of seasonal flavors with the best array in the fall. This gelateria may not get the best rating on location or atmosphere, but the variety, quality and unique flavors make it worth it.
10
Gelateria Arteginale

10) Gelateria Arteginale

This gelateria is a newly renovated establishment. Under new ownership the former “Chocolate and cream” gelateria has done a complete 180 degree turn. The flavors are all natural and made by hand. The former establishment was a tourist trap with high prices and low quality gelato. The new owners spared no expense making the shop brighter and full of color and quality gelato. Prices are good and this is an excellent stop coming from Castel Sant’ Angelo to the Piazza Navona area. I would say that this gelateria has greatly improved, but it is not near the fame or quality of others mentioned in this guide. It is conveniently located, flavors are good, prices are fair and service is friendly. These folks deserve support for what they are doing and who knows, if they keep it up they may be on the map in a few years.
11
Alberto Pica

11) Alberto Pica

This is one of those places that’s so well hidden it’s in plain sight! It is literally across the river from the bustling night life of Trastevere, but you would never know it. It’s packed with locals and families who enjoy the beautiful outdoor gardens and tables in the shadow of some amazing buildings. This gelateria is well situated between the historic Jewish ghetto and the Campo di Fiori night spot. It boasts many awards and newspaper write-ups. The owner and founder for whom it is named can often be seen serving, managing or making up a new batch or flavor. All of the standard flavors are good and the price attracts many families as well as the odd passersby. This is a great place to grab gelato if you find yourself in the Largo Argentina area where many of the bus lines stop. No credit cards.
12
Fatamorgana

12) Fatamorgana

This is another gelateria which due to a good product and good marketing has spread to over 3 locations in Rome. The one I have chosen is best situated within the walking tour boundaries. The biggest attraction comes from the uniqueness of their gelato flavors: banana with sesame crunch; basil with walnuts and honey; cheese cake; punch paradise;“crema agnese” – crème brûlée flavors with bits of caramelized sugar. The ingredients are certified as all natural and the owners take pride in upholding that standard. This gelateria is a bit off the beaten track, but is in a big hotel and apartment district so you may just be next door. Either way the flavors speak for themselves and the Gambero Rosso award for culinary excellence that they have speaks for itself. Did I forget to mention that they have crazy flavors such as chocolate and tobacco or chocolate and rum? It’s truly an unassuming structure that really exceeds your expectations.
13
Gelateria Antonini

13) Gelateria Antonini

Antonini has one of the best selections of pastries, coffees and gelato in Rome. The most renowned flavor by far is their Zabaione gelato. Overall I found a great selection of chocolate flavors and very friendly staff who would have let me try them all if I’d asked. The best sell of this establishment besides the gelato itself is the atmosphere. If you enjoy your goodies inside or out you can be sure of some great conversation, people watching and relaxation. This neighborhood called Prati boasts many good and competitive gelaterias. They are not very touristy and the sidewalk café style of this gelateria will make you want to stay for hours. The more residential aspect of this area allows you to feel calm and collected, away from much of the noise and traffic.
14
Gelarmony

14) Gelarmony

The focus of this gelateria is Sicilian gelato. Besides gelateria del teatro, no one does Sicilian gelato better than Gelarmony. There is always a steady stream of locals and it’s easily accessible from the Lepanto metro stop. The recommended flavors are cinnamon, chili pepper, vitamine Etna and lemon are all favorites. They also offer granite which is the slushy type drink sold in three or four flavors. There are also some Sicilian favorites such as cannolis and cassata Siciliana. The gelato is by far what they do best offering almost 60 flavors and every one I’ve tried so far really packs a punch of flavor. Besides the traditional cone or cup they will also serve gelato on a warm brioche bun if asked. This is an excellent metro stop gelateria or a great side trip if you find yourself near the Vatican.
15
Gelateria Al Settimo

15) Gelateria Al Settimo

This gelateria is located north of the Vatican Museums in the Piazza Mazzini neighborhood. The best option is the Lepanto metro stop and about a 10 minute walk north. It is a very small and unassuming gelateria on the outside with a simple but nice interior design. On paper this gelateria has been dominating the Roman gelato scene with distinguished awards and reviews from the Roman papers and Italian gelato experts. It even bears the Gambero Rosso award, Italy’s most revered food guide. They offer quite a few varieties of chocolate as well as chocolate with spices and fruit flavors. I was impressed by the quality and the variety they have here. The prices are average and tourists are nowhere to be seen. Check out flavors such as sour cherry, honey and sesame and the never before seen iranano (rose-water, almonds and saffron). I will definitely be back to enjoy great dessert, super-friendly staff and a more Roman atmosphere.
16
Caffe Minerva Gelateria

16) Caffe Minerva Gelateria

If you are around the Pantheon and you need to satisfy that gelato craving immediately, there’s no closer or better place for Gelato. The gelato is surprisingly good for such a small shop in such a touristy area. One of its redeeming values is that it looks more like a convenience store, so you can skip the lines at the bigger shops nearby to get some great flavor and variety. They offer the standard range of flavors including chocolates and fruits which are highly recommended. The staff is very appreciative of business which can be rare in a high tourist area. They are happy to see you and serve you as quickly as possible. The one flavor I have seen nowhere else, which I highly recommend is Limoncello flavored gelato. Enjoy the sights with some delicious gelato.
17
Gelateria Della Palma

17) Gelateria Della Palma

Variety is the best way to describe this place with over 70 flavors including: green apple, pistachio, passion fruit, chocolate and orange,smarties, kit kat and nutella as well as varieties of sorbet and mousse. Probably the best selling point on this gelateria is the variety, the candy and coffee shop attached and the location around many of the primary sites. That being said the complaints often concern too many tourists, too much sugar in the gelato and higher prices. Taking everything into consideration it’s still a worthwhile place. The gelato has a good taste, the variety is amazing and tourism is what keeps them open ultimately. They do an amazing job of creating space in an area where many stores are packed in and there’s barely enough room for 5 customers. This place is a must for chocolate lovers, with such a variety there are over 20 chocolate flavors alone. The prices start at 2.5 euros, but the hours are good and you won’t find this variety many other places in the city.
18
Fior di Luna

18) Fior di Luna

The Via della Lungaretta is one of the pedestrian lifelines into Trastevere. You won’t be hassled by cars or motorinis but you will find yourself in a sea of people and shops, wineries and restaurants and of course gelaterias. There are many gelaterias on this street which may well be considered teases and tourist traps but you are in good hands if you’ve chosen Fior di Luna. You will see many bohemians and young people hanging out here as this gelateria is not only homemade and healthy but also relies heavily on organic and fair trade ingredients. There is also a wide selection of sugarless gelatos amongst the fruits, sorbets and chocolates. Fior di Luna is very strict on the freshness of their products which means no strawberries in winter, but one thing they do have year round are a variety of chocolate flavors. Vanilla is not a popular gelato flavor but they do it well here, so it’s recommended. They also make excellent hot chocolate during the winter months.
19
Da Checco

19) Da Checco

The location is really very central but there is a tall monument in front of this gelateria and the small street that its on may not seem so promising at first. But it’s not too hard to find and the crowd especially at night will give it away. Just follow the line of people who are savoring their gelato after a romantic evening in Trastevere. This shop is really a complex of a bar-pastry shop and gelateria. It is a family business that over generations has grown to include other businesses including a catering service. This may be a good place for not just a gelato but also a nice cup of their house brewed coffee. The gelato is take away but you can wander in next door to sit down and look over some other treats. The gelato is superb, homemade and portions are good. Be sure and go for the fruit flavors which are delicious and if you like the combination of chocolate and cream be sure and add that too.
20
Gelateria alla Scala

20) Gelateria alla Scala

This is an amazing artisanal gelatria located in the heart of Trastevere. This Gelateria is absolutely tiny, but packs quite a flavor. This gelateria's only downside is probably related to its upside, flavors are made daily and so when they run out that’s it for the day. That makes for some amazing and intense, but short-lived gelato. This location has made it into many guide books amongst Rome’s elite gelaterias and continues to do so. By far the best flavors are black current and cinnamon. Many people I know as well as tourists remarked on how strong the tastes of each flavor were. The price cannot be beaten with a small cone starting at 1.5 euro that’s a bargain anywhere. The staff are keen on giving you more than you paid for and are very friendly and generous. This gelateria is in my top ten for location, flavor and attention to detail. You won’t find a better deal this side of town.

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