In Search of Rome’s Best Gelato: Travel in Italy

In Search of Rome's Best Gelato: Travel in Italy

Rome is home to some of the most visited landmarks in the world, a place of a deeply rich historical past, and a city of world-renowned cuisine. Pizza and pasta aside, there is no better way to spend a gastronomic afternoon in Rome than to stroll down the cobblestone streets with two scoops of gelato in hand. Finding a gelato shop in Rome is not difficult, there is certainly no shortage of them. Finding an excellent gelateria, on the other hand, is a different story.

The foundation of any good gelateria is the type of ingredients they use. What you want to search for are gelato shops that use the most natural ingredients. You can spot them by looking for two distinctive features.

First, the gelato is typically served in metal bins with the gelato never rising above the freezer line. The best of gelato makers are very particular about the temperature of their gelato and would never jeopardize the taste by packing it above the freezer line.

The second distinctive feature in natural gelato is the color. Natural gelato does not have added food coloring so you won’t see any bright shades of pinks and oranges in them. This feature is most evident in the pistachio flavor. Many gelaterias will boast a bright green pistachio gelato but don’t be fooled by these aesthetics. Natural pistachio gelato, the one that will be much kinder to your taste buds, will have more of a green-brown color.

So, if you’re as serious about gelato as I am, be sure to look out for the features discussed above. While some gelato shops will entice you with their mounds of brightly colored gelato stacked high and packed with toppings, opt for something more natural and you will be happy that you did. For your convenience, I’ve also put together a short but sweet preapproved list of gelaterias in Rome that offer natural and delicious gelato.

  • Il Gelato – There are several locations of Il Gelato throughout Rome including one near the Spanish Steps and another a short walk from Testaccio. Even with its expansion, the quality of the gelato has not been jeopardized. Il Gelato does a great pistachio and classic cream gelato, or for the more adventurous, a black sesame flavor.
  • Gelateria Fatamorgana – My absolute favorite during my recent visit to Rome. My visit was to the location in Monti but there are several others. Again, pistachio is a winner here and the mint chocolate chip is unlike any mint chip ice cream you’ll ever have.
  • Gelateria del Teatro – At this shop near Piazza Navona you will find some gorgeous fruit flavored gelato. The strawberry flavor is like eating the sweetest of strawberries neatly packaged into a frozen treat. Standard flavors are also offered here, as is a crème brulee flavor that I was very tempted to try.

With this guide for finding some of the best gelato in the eternal city, the next time you’re in Rome, do as the Romans do and eat gelato!

In Search of Rome's Best Gelato: Travel in ItalyIn Search of Rome's Best Gelato: Travel in Italy

Everyone has a different opinion on what is the best Gelato, these are Julee’s picks.  My favorite Gelato in Rome has to be La Gelateria Frigidarium, check out my photos of the gelato here.

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Julee is a lover of all things edible and is willing to travel far and wide to find the best of the best. Born in Vietnam, Julee’s travels have taken her to the tropical island of Oahu, the bustling streets of Manhattan, and the growing suburbia that is Orange County where she currently resides. When she’s not eating, traveling, or writing, she loves to cuddle up with her two pups Crouton and Truffles.

20 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Allie June 15, 2014 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    I love gelato and I loved Rome. I spent 10 days in Italy, will never forget it.

  2. Janelle June 15, 2014 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    I’ve never tried gelato, I wonder how much it tastes like ice cream?

  3. Pamela June 16, 2014 at 5:30 am - Reply

    Dying to try a truly authentic gelato, these look gorgeous!

  4. Elizabeth L June 16, 2014 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Interesting! These are great tips, I’ll have to keep them in mind the next time I am on the hunt for Gelato!

  5. Mary @TheFlyingCouponer June 16, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    I would love to travel to Italy to eat gelato!

  6. Christine June 16, 2014 at 10:54 am - Reply

    I soooo want a Gelato right now!! Great tips!! Now I need to head to Italy to try out the real thing! YUM!

  7. Gingermommy June 16, 2014 at 11:04 am - Reply

    I am unsure if I actually ever had real Gelato . Looks so good!

  8. Bonnie Way June 16, 2014 at 11:43 am - Reply

    We have friends who’ve visited Rome and raved about the gelato. I’d love to go someday. I like your point about the colour… I made something pistachio recently and my husband looked at me and asked, “Why isn’t it green?” He couldn’t believe that pistachio is only green because of the food colouring. :)

  9. Tammy @inRdream June 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    I have never had Gelato but Italy is on my daydreaming list. Now I will be fully armed with Gelato shopping tips. THANKS!

  10. Erin June 16, 2014 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    I love gelato, real Italian gelato beats ice cream every day.

  11. BusyBee June 16, 2014 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    This is something that I could totally get behind. I love gelato.

  12. Sharon Phillips June 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    I have never tried Gelato. It looks like it would be really good. I will have to try sometime soon. Looks creamy.

  13. Chubskulit Rose June 17, 2014 at 6:54 am - Reply

    I haven’t been to Italy but hoping that someday, my family could visit the beautiful country.

  14. April McGregor June 17, 2014 at 10:10 am - Reply

    I wish I’ve tried there gelato when I was in Rome. :P Maybe someday when I go back there.

  15. Margarita Ibbott (@DownshiftingPRO) June 17, 2014 at 10:22 am - Reply

    There was a wonderful gelato shop here in London. The women was from Italy and it was lovely. I love gelato.

  16. Adin Blankenship June 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness! I am a huge Gelato fan and man, I am craving for some. It would be awesome to try some authentic ones. Like traveling to Italy and sampling their delicious gelato and food. Thank you so much for sharing. Never been to Rome and hopeful someday. :)

  17. DD June 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Wow, those all look very good! The REAL deal right there!

  18. Travel Quest June 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Italy is one of my dream place that i want to visit someday. Rome is part of it as well I wanna see the Vatican as well. Gelato is that similar to Gelatin in Philippines?

  19. DD June 18, 2014 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    I have not tried gelato before. Looks good!

  20. Pamela June 19, 2014 at 5:26 am - Reply

    Looks so fantastic, would love to give one of these a try.

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