I have been an avid ice cream eater since a very young age. Naturally, when thinking about my semester abroad in Rome, I was most excited for all the amazing gelato I would be able to eat daily. Food is a big part of a country’s culture and I was determined to eat gelato from as many places as possible. I have consumed gelato in many other countries and Italian cities, and outside of Eduardo’s in Florence, Rome is hands down home to all the best gelaterias.
It may seem odd that there are only seven places that stand out among the hundreds of places you can find gelato in Rome. However, many gelaterias are tourist traps with average gelato. These can be picked out by their displays of high mountains of gelato with tall peaks or English signs calling it ice cream. Don’t waste whatever amount of time you have in Rome by eating sub-par gelato. Life is short, so #treatyoself.
This by far has to be the most instagrammed gelato in Rome. The flavors are pretty standard for gelaterias outside of their namesake flavor, Frigidarium, which tastes like cake batter.
However, the best part of their gelato is that you can get your cone or cup dipped in white or dark chocolate and topped with whipped cream and nuts. It’s a throwback to your favorite hand-dipped ice cream cones in the United States except creamier and with a richer taste. This is a must-stop in Rome.
#SpoonTip: If you want a cookie on top of your gelato, order the Frigidarium flavor. There’s nothing like a chocolate-covered cookie to top off your gelato.
Debatably my favorite gelateria in Rome, Teatro is known for it’s homemade, creamy gelato and unique flavors. From chocolate to Sicilian wine cream to chocolate orange, there are many rich flavors. This gelato is melt-in-your-mouth good.
I, unfortunately, purchased a cone of gelato here once and walked two steps away from the counter just to have it fall off my cone. The owner saw this happen and called me over to throw out my cone and give me a new one before he helped the remaining customers. This is real Italian gelato and hospitality.
It took me until the end of my semester to breakdown and visit this widely known gelateria due to it’s popularity among mobs of tourists. While it did not disappoint with a long line of aggressive international customers, it was worth the shoving and the wait.
Golitti has the largest collection of gelato flavors I have seen in Italy. It has almost every type of fruit or chocolate flavor you could possibly want. If you’re looking for a wide selection of fun flavors, this is definitely the place to visit. With a location right by the Pantheon, it’s only a short stray from your sightseeing.
#SpoonTip: If you’re feeling adventurous, try the champagne flavor. It’s light, refreshing, and pairs perfectly with any of the fruit flavors.
Another gelateria that’s nearby the Pantheon. San Crispino lacks the surge of touristy crowds, but exceeds the high standards for Italian gelato. You can’t go wrong with any flavor here. However, they are most well-known for their meringue flavors. These flavors pair popular favorites such as chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut, with little pieces of meringue. The meringue adds a nice crunchy contrast to the creaminess of the gelato.
Old Bridge has several locations, but my favorite one is the one at the Vatican by San Pietro. Among the many chains of average gelato, this is a favorite among tourists and locals alike. The workers are quick to serve you and offer generous portions topped off with homemade whipped cream.
There is usually a little bit of a line as it gets warmer out, but it’s worth the wait. A popular favorites is the cookies or the cookies black. Stop here before visiting the Vatican. San Pietro looks even more beautiful when you’re admiring it with gelato in hand.
Technically this is not only a gelateria, but rather a restaurant and bakery, too. However, it is worth the bus ride to try one of their chocolate-covered gelato balls. A little outside of the city center, near Vatican City, this is a bustling restaurant and bakery. Their hidden gem is their gelato balls. These gelato balls are rich, creamy, and slow to melt. They are a refreshing take on the Italian classic and the perfect on-the-go snack.
Sadly, this is not walking distance of downtown Rome, but rather in Balduina. However, this is tied for my favorite gelateria. If you are a student at the John Felice Rome Center, you cannot end the semester without having gotten gelato from here.
They offer the traditional gelato flavors and will even dip your gelato in chocolate and top it with whipped cream. The best part of their gelato is that you can also drink it as a milkshake or eat in a cookie sandwich. The gelato milkshakes are the perfect size and the most refreshing warm-weather treat. The cookie sandwiches are so good that no one will blame you for eating two or pairing one with a cup of gelato.