I’ve been pretty lazy with my gelato-eating, since January, what with it being winter and all. However, my sister was in town last week and the weather was beautiful, so we decided to make up for lost time.
Here are some of the places that we tried:
Giolitti: This gelateria near the Pantheon is super famous and popular among tourists and locals alike. Having been around for over a century, it is a real Roman institution, on par with the Colosseo I should say. Here the nutella flavor is incredibile. In fact, it’s really not so much nutella-flavored gelato, as it is actual nutella just piled on top of your cone. I paired it with visciole (sour cherry). Veramente il TOP.
San Crispino: This is another famous place near the Pantheon. San Crispino is mentioned in every guidebook and is generally considered to be one of the city’s best. I had never been there and, unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. First of all, with a small cup (not cones, San Crispino does not allow cones in their establishment), you can only get one flavor, which is unheard of in Italy– most places allow you two flavors for a small. Also, no whipped cream. Most places in Rome offer panna for free. Not at San Crispino, so don’t even ask. In the end, I opted for crema ai marroni (chestnut). It was decent enough. The aftertaste was really starchy and tasted like an actual chestnut to their credit. However, the initial taste was a bit strange, too sweet. In the end, San Crispino ended up being my least favorite (and the most pretentious place) that we visited on the gelato tour.
Fatamorgana: This gelateria, near the Vatican, is incredible. There’s a kentucky flavor– chocolate and tabacco. The taste is bitter, and it’s only in the aftertaste that you can detect the faint taste of tabacco. Really good. I got this along with mandorla tostata (toasted almond) and castagna e mirto (chestnut and blueberry). Wished I lived on the other side of the Tiber so that I could go here every day.
Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè: Maybe I don’t live near Fatamorgana, but at least I work near this gelateria in EUR. During this visit, I went totally American and tried the arachidi salate (salted peanuts) and cioccolato e banana (chocolate and banana). Without a doubt, the best gelato combination had during the week. In the past, I’ve tried pera e cannella (pear and cinnamon), castagna e rum (chestnuts and rum), and girasole e cioccolato (sunflower and chocolate), all of which were delicious.
Al Settimo Gelo: This gelateria in Prati serves some unusual flavors as well, like gelato iraniano, with rose water, pistachios, and saffron. I settled on pinoli (pine nut), sesamo e miele (sesame seed and honey), and cachi (persimmon). My sister said that she thought that this place might have been the best of them all. Couldn’t really dispute her.
Frigidarium: This place, with its strange ancient-Rome-sounding name, serves reliable gelato in the historic center of Rome. I got pistachio (always a hit) and their signature flavor, which has a caramel base and is topped with Pan di Stelle cookies. It was a bit heavy for me, but it came with a Pan di Stelle cookie. So, win!
Gelateria al Teatro: The last place we tried was Gelateria al Teatro, near Piazza Navona. We were feeling a bit overloaded with gelato at this point, so decided on some fruit flavors. I chose strawberry and raspberry and sage, while my sister got kiwi and orange. Made from real fruit and without much sweetners. Super refreshing and lovely. Below is a photo.