Where to get the Best Gelato in Rome
What is better than a nice Italian gelato in Rome on a hot summer day ? Here’s a straightforward answer: nothing!
When in Rome with kids, there are some things that you just can’t miss. The Colosseum, the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain are just some of the cultural highlights that have to be on your to-do list. In terms of food, you can’t say you’ve been to Rome if you haven’t eaten a pizza or pasta! But there is always that sweet treat that makes a summer holiday in Rome the coolest of holidays: gelato!
According to historians, the origin of ice cream is found in China, where people would delight themselves with flavored ices. Europe would have to wait for the very early years of the 14th century to discover what “ice cream” tastes like. And who was the man that introduced ice cream to Europe? The famous Italian merchant traveler Marco Polo.
Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, but for a lot of connoisseurs, gelato is not just ice cream. Or at least, it will taste a bit different than the ice cream you are used to eat back home. Real Italian gelato is not as rich as the kind of ice cream you would buy in any supermarket, and it’s meant to me eaten “fresh”: unlike classic ice-cream, you can’t really freeze it for a long time. For gelaterias (gelato shops), the gelato produced on a specific day has to be sold that same day!
Needless to say that with 6 centuries of experience, it is no surprise to see that Italian gelato is ranked as one of the best gelato in the world, if not THE best!
When walking in the small streets of Rome, you’ll be surprised to see so many gelaterias. All of them are delicious, but some of these gelaterias stick out for the quality of their products, their originality and the ambiance in the shops.
Here are 10 gelaterias where you will be able to taste the best gelato in Rome:
1. Il Gelato di San Crispino
The owners and founders of Il gelato di San Crispino, Pasquale, Giuseppe and Paola, have been offering the best balance of flavors since the company was founded in the early 1990’s. Through the quality of their ingredients and a know how that only a handful of gelato makers have acquired, they are able to surprise and satisfy even the toughest connoisseurs.
The gelateria is also the workshop. It is located in the heart of Rome, and every day, the ice cream creators search for new flavors and blend all the ingredients carefully, without adding artificial colorings, preservatives and chemical emulsifiers. But the passionate and hardworking team also thrives to rework certain traditional flavors.
The result is simple: Il Gelato di San Crispino is truly one of the best gelato in Rome.
- Address: Il Gelato di San Crispino, Piazza della Maddalena, 3, Roma, 00186 RM. Other locations can be found here
- Opening hours: Sun – Thur from 11AM to 12:30 AM, Fri & Sat from 11AM to 1:30 AM
- Website: http://www.ilgelatodisancrispino.com/en/home-eng/
Unlike a great many gelaterias in Italy (and ice cream sellers around the world), what truly characterizes Ciampini is that their gelato is handmade, and this for over 50 years. From generation to generation, the recipes have been transmitted, and the gelato artisans of today craft their ice cream to perfection.
Using only natural and fresh ingredients, and thus excluding the artificial colorings and chemical thickeners, eating a Ciampini gelato is like biting into the fruit itself. And the old traditional machines used to make the ice cream only enhance that authentic, delightful taste.
Don’t expect bright flashy ice cream colors or fluffy ice cream (meaning a lot of chemicals!), just pure, raw and deliciously refreshing ice cream.
- Address: Ciampini, Piazza di S. Lorenzo in Lucina, 29, 00186 Roma, Italy
- Opening Hours: Everyday from 7:30AM to 9:30PM
- Website: http://www.ciampini.com/en/
Fassi is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) gelaterias in Rome. Walk into the old shop on Via Principe Eugenio and you will find yourself traveling back in time to the early 1900s. With old traditional gelato making machines scattered all over the shop, you can feel that Fassi has decades of experience making the perfect gelato in Rome. And once you have a “bite” of their ice cream, you will taste that experience too!
Made with the finest seasonal ingredients, which are blended following 100 year old recipes, Fassi offers truly one of the best and most delicious gelato in Rome.
- Address : Gelato Fassi, Via Principe Eugenio, 65, 00185 Roma, Italy
- Opening Hours: Monday through Saturday from 12PM–12AM, Sunday 10am to 12am
- Website : http://www.gelateriafassi.com/?lang=en
4. Gelateria dei Gracchi
The Gelateria dei Gracchi’s ice cream follows the rhythm of nature… Using only seasonal fruit and avoiding the coloring, preservatives and other hydrogenated fats, this gelateria’s products are both delicious and healthy. And for those of you who are lactose or gluten intolerant, head out to Gelateria dei Gracchi and order an ice cream without having to worry about your health!
They might not have centuries of experience, and might not expose their vintage machinery, but when it comes to taste, they clearly offer some of the best gelato in Rome.
- Address : Gelateria dei Gracchi, Via dei Gracchi, 272, 00193 Roma, Italy
- Opening Hours: From 12PM to 12 :30 AM every day
- Website: http://www.gelateriadeigracchi.it/
Concerning the taste and texture of their ice cream, Giolitti is very straightforward and says: “we have nurtured a taste for perfection”. They are one of the oldest gelaterias in town and have been creating and serving delicious ice- cream and sorbets since 1900.
Walk inside the shop, and relive the history of this famous gelateria. Back in 1890, Giuseppe and Bernadina Giolitti opened a shop where they sold fresh milk from their own pastures in the roman countryside. Because their milk was so great, it wasn’t long before they supplied the Italian Royal Family.
They soon began the production of ice cream with fresh ingredients and seasonal fruits. The rest, as they say, is history…
- Address: Giolitti, Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, 00186 Roma, Italy
- Opening Hours: every day from 7AM to 1:30AM
- Website: http://www.giolitti.it/site/en/
6. Gelateria del Teatro
When walking through the old pedestrian streets of Rome, you might just bump into someone holding a Gelateria del Teatro cup of ice-cream. Were you distracted by the beauty of Rome or was the person day-dreaming because of the gelato’s delightful taste?
The excellent Gelateria del Teatro prepares their gelato on site. We’re not lying: all you need to do is look through the window and you will see their “gelato laboratory”. Be it spicy chocolate or an excellent combination of seasonal fruits, all of the 40 ice cream flavors you can choose from are mouthwatering.
- Address: Gelateria del Teatro, Via dei Coronari, 65-66, 00186 Roma, Italy
- Opening hours: everyday from 10:30AM to 12AM
- No official website. Find them on Facebook
For Maria Agnese Spagnuolo, also known as Fatamorgana, the secret lies behind the perfect balance. Unlike many of the gelaterias in Italy, where at most 2 flavors are combined into one ice-cream, Fatamorgana has managed to create ice cream with up to 5 flavors, perfectly balancing each one to create the perfect global flavor.
Fatamorgana always had a passion for fruit trees, and when she was a child, she would climb her favorite fruit trees to get a bite of the juiciest and most delicious peaches, apricots or figs! She also had a passion for ice cream and when she realized her theater career had to come to an end, she decided to make a job out of her passion. And because she was diagnosed with coeliac disease, all her products (ice cream, cones etc.) are gluten free!
- Address: Fatamorgana, Via Roma Libera, 11, Roma, Italy
- Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 12PM to 12AM, Friday and Saturday from 12PM to 1AM
- Website: http://www.gelateriafatamorgana.com/web/index.php
Unlike most of Rome’s best gelaterias, Carapina is quite recent, and the original shop is actually located in Florence. Founded in 2008 by Simone Bonini, he wanted to stay away from the old stereotypes and concepts as old as 200 years! He wanted to communicate on the freshness of the products, their origin and seasonality.
So don’t expect tradition when entering Carapina. You’ll find modern, pastel-colored furniture and TV screens showing how the gelato is made. If you have a doubt on the freshness of the ice cream, take a look at the fully exposed gelato laboratory! And finally, at Carapina, you will also find craft products that have never been sold in gelaterias before!
So if you want the more modern touch, and yet eat some delicious ice cream, Carapina is the place to be! And don’t be surprised if you now see Carapina gourmet food trucks on the road!
- Address: Carapina, Via dei Chiavari, 37, 00186 Roma, Italy
- Opening hours: every day from 12PM to 12AM
- Website: http://carapina.it/en/
9. I Caruso
Icaruso are true gelato craftsmen. The secret all starts with a careful selection of raw materials because none of the flavored magic can exist without this basic first step! Again, the best don’t add preservatives and color enhancers, and I Caruso is not an exception. It’s all about being true towards the product, and the customers.
With plenty of classic and original recipes, I Caruso should be mentioned in any top 10 list of the best gelatos in Rome. It’s in our top 10 list, and that’s because we are true towards our readers!
- Address: I Caruso, Via Collina, 13, 00187 Roma, Italy
- Opening hours: every day from 12PM to 12AM
- Website: http://www.gelatoicaruso.it/
10. Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè
Last but definitely not least, there is no Top 10 list without Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè. More than a man, he is an icon when it comes to gelato. And his daring creations speak for themselves: out of approximately 70 creations, you’ll find flavors like carrot, celery and gorgonzola with vinegar. Will you be bold enough to try some of his craziest flavors? You should, as they are all surprisingly pleasant. But if you are not keen on doing so, the traditional flavors will leave you wanting more… a lot more! And it’s probably because Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè is so good that many locals who were once customers have become disciples (just like Maria Agnese of fatamorgana)
- Address: Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè, viale Aventino 59 Roma
- Opening Hours: 11AM to 10PM
- Website: www.ilgelatodiclaudiotorce.com