The best gelato of Rome. Time has not stopped the craving for refreshing pleasures: enjoying a gelato while wandering the Eternal City has never lost its magic. And never has Rome been a better home to some of Italy’s best gelaterias. From the traditional tastes to experiments with savory flavors, the cone is rising from a summer snack into a meal in itself. From breakfast to long after dinner, Rome is going crazy for the cool treat, enough to befuddle the hunter who searches for a real, artiginal gelato: one that is simple, natural, and without additives. We at Puntarella have made our rankings to accompany you in the jungle of the capital city’s gelaterias. Here are our the best gelato of Rome e the best gelaterias.
The best gelato of Rome, 20 gelaterias
The artisan gelato-maker Marco Radicioni and his ice cream aquarium merit the first place of Roman gelaterias and a kiss from the academy. The ice cream shop with a completely visible laboratory, has the air of a temple where orderliness, calmness and cordiality reign. The passion seeps from the flavors– rich and intense and not always exactly the same – characterized by a vitality and continuous experiments that soars above opponents. The magic happens with a Cattabriga, a vintage machine with vertical processing that is particularly slow, laborious, and works in small batches to minimize the amount of air let into the gelato and thereby making a more dense consistency. There are a maximum of 60 flavors, including fruits, cream, and savory experimentations such as the famous caico e pepe (cheese and pepper) that makes even the best osterias envious. The turkish pistachio, the Hazelnut from Piemonte, and the Almond from Avola in Sicily all explode with flavor: the consistency is dense, with a decisive and persistent flavor. The Zabaione made with Marsala and licorice is a must try. The fruit flavors use carefully selected fresh produce: in summer don’t miss the melon, raspberry or peach. Some flavors change day by day following the whims of the Chef, so don’t feel scared to ask what’s new.
Prices: 25 euro /kg. Cone/cup from €2.50
Recommended flavor: Mandorla pizzuta d’Avola, almond from Avola
Viale dei Colli Portuensi 594 (Portuense)
The enigmatic Ermanno of Pomponio jumps to the top of the list. Just a few steps from the Modern Art Museum, Maxxi, the gelato can be enjoyed seated at the communal tables in a well-decorated and pleasant environment. The delicate ice creams are artiginally produced with only select ingredients and strictly bio: the milk is biodynamic (from Alta Baveria), the eggs from Paolo Parisi, the coffee from Gianni Frasi, and the chocolate from Amedei. Great fruit flavors: the peach sorbet is delicate and flavorsome like the freshly gathered fruit it is made from. The creams are sinful and full-bodied, with a deep flavor. The pistachio deserves a standing ovation: soft and silky, it is comparable to a comforting hug. The raspberry vinaigrette, blackberry, or blueberry flavors are also not to be missed.
Prices: 25 euro /kg. Cone/cup from €2.50
Recommended flavor: Peach sorbet
Via Luigi Poletti 6 (Prati)
The mission of Maria Agnese Spagnuolo (a student of Claudio Torcé) is to convey the naturalness and simplicity of the ingredients by creating unique combinations low in fats. In the fairy’s pot the ingredients create a refined and pure product, without any unnecessary additions. Some tastes make you think of magic potions or perhaps will recall the nostalgia of “strawberry and lemon”: Helen of Troy’s pear, baklava, banana with sesame crunch, and panacea (made with ginseng, mink and almond milk).
Recommended taste: Pollicina (a mixture of rose, violets, and walnuts), and the extra creamy Basil pesto with honey and walnuts. The top place goes to La Venere Rosa, “The rose Venus”, with rice from Venere and rose petals: the effect is mystic. The classics are also good: Pistachio from Bronte, hazelnut, zabaione and many others. The chestnut and mirto (a sardianian relative of the blue-berry) lost some points because they could have added a dash more liquor.
Prices: 21 euro/kg. Cone/Cup from 2,50 euro
Recommended Flavor: Basil pesto with honey and walnuts
Via Laurina 10 (Historical Center)
(Other locations Via Lago di Lesina, 9; Via Giovanni Bettolo, 7; Piazza
degli Zingari, 5; Via Aosta, 3; Via Tiburtina, 567; Via Roma libera, 10)
(Other locations: Piazza della Maddalena 3 e via della Panetteria 42)
The Emperor of Merangues went back to school and paid close attention to the raw materials and to re-learn genuine tastes, although in recent years he seems to have lost the creative touch. The cream-based flavors have the clear advantage over the fruit, both in terms of the variety and reputation: the caramel meringue is heavenly with its special crunch, and the chocolate sorbet is strong but complex and creamy even though it has no dairy. The fruit lags behind the cream-based flavors, even considering wild orange sorbet with its a fresh, pleasant taste. The white peach is also good– its like taking a bite of the fruit itself. Enjoy the cones (which were once banned), and are now also available gluten-free.
Prices: 22 euro/kg. Cone / Cup from €2,50
Recommended Flavor: Orange scented Almond
Via Acaia 56 (San Giovanni)
Alberto Manassei, the gelato master, conceives his creations by paying attention to tradition and to the simple things done like once-upon-a-time. The king of pistachio, rumored to be amongst the best in Rome, passes the test with flying colors, as did the creamy but fresh Almond with orange. The pear and caramel is a great mix, perfectly balanced without being cloying. The apple and mint flavor, on the other hand, could use some work to get the right balance. Note the color markings: milk free, milk-based, egg-based. Also worth pointing out, the coconut is prepared without milk unlike in most gelaterias.
Prices: 22euro/kg Cup/cone from 2.50 (whipped cream included)
Recommended Flavor: Almond with orange
Via dei Gracchi, 272, Roma. Tel. 06 321 6668
Viale Regina Margherita 212, Roma. Tel. 06 3216668
Via di Ripetta 261, Roma. Tel. 06 3224727
Via dei Gracchi, 272 (Prati)
A predictable touristic hub because of its location in the heart of Trastevere on Via della Lungarina. Prepare yourself with patience because in this case the long line is worth the wait: artiginal preparations and high-quality ingredients selected from the best of Italian produce. Some of the cream-based gelatos are prepared with donkey milk, which makes a lighter and easily- digestible gelato. Amongst the flavors, we recommend that you try the donkey milk and fig cream. Il Duetto flavor pairs pistachio from Bronte with the Piemontese hazelnuts (IGP) for a perfectly balanced and has an intense flavor. The gran cru chocolate (with Domori and Valrhona) or the 70% Morogoro Chocolate are recommended for those with strong palates. The fruit flavors change seasonally; try the fig which is sweet and juicy.
Prices: 20 euro / kg. Cup/ Cone from 2euro including whipped cream
Recommended flavors: Duetto
Via della Lungaretta, 96, 00153 Rome Tel. 06 6456 1314
7° La gourmandise
In this teeny-little Baroque bubble, you’ll find a laboratory of flavors and special blends that change with the seasons and the artistic whims of Dario Benelli, an ice-cream maker from the Marche region who is by now an adopted Roman. The 19 flavors are created with top ingredients: unpasturized eggs, seasonal fruits, and goats milk (which makes a lighter gelato recommended for lactose-sensitives). Some combinations that hark back to recipes of the 1500s and 1700s, are not always exactly well-balanced, such as the saffron and walnuts, in which the spice is barely perceptible. Don’t miss the strokes of genius: the subtle and light raspberry in rose water, or the creamy and fresh fig compote with jasmine.
Prices: 25/kg Cones from 2,50 (including whipped cream)
Recommended Flavors: Raspberry and rose-water
Via F. Cavallotti, 36/b, Rome. Tel. 377 4116621
8° Gelateria del teatro
Located in an alley off of Via dei Coronari, this centrally-located gelateria is the ideal destination for those who appreciate complex tastes and eccentric flavors. The gelateria is housed in an Art Nouveau grocery store and has a visible laboratory. You can try the flavors such as pumpkin and amaretto, pear and ginger, Sacher cake, raspberry and sage, or rosemary with honey and lemon. Don’t miss out on the classic flavors, such as hazelnut, Pistachio from Bronte, and the Almond from Avola, Sicily. The spicy flavors are great, the consistency is refined. A warning to those who don’t love spicy tastes, sometimes the spice-flavors can be better suited for stronger palates. The dark chocolate with nero d’Avola wine deserves praise for its creamy and intoxicating perfection.
Prices: 25 €/kg. Cup/Cone from 2,50 euro
Recommended Flavors: Cioccolato al nero d’Avola
Via dei Coronari 65, Roma. Tel. 06 45474880
9° Come il latte
Nicoletta Chiacchiari, the owner and gelato-aficionado moved from the nearby gelateria I Caruso to open this gelateria, where every day she makes new recipes based on natural-ingredients, seasonal fruits, and fresh milk from local producers. The gelato is served at a higher-than-normal temperature, which clearly brings out the distinct flavors. The must-try cream-based flavors include, Marsala Zabaione, rice and cinnamon, and the classic Pistachio from Bronte or Hazelnuts from the Langhe. The Marscarpone with salt is a delicate cream with a salty touch. The juicy and flavorful fruit flavors include strawberry and pear. In addition to cones, you can try the gelato in a brioche or donuts from Montecatini.
Prices: 23 €/kg. Cup/Cone from 1,80 euro (whipped cream and melted chocolate included)
Recommended Flavor: Salted Caramel
Via Silvio Spaventa 24/26, Rome. Tel. 06.42903882
10° Gori gelato
Just steps from Piazza Sempione, a neighborhood in the north of Rome, Gori Gelateria delights us with its gelatos, courteousness, and the two passionate siblings Francesca and Enrico. The cone is crispy and tasty, and the size is much larger than average. Try the creamy and intense pistachio or almond. You can select from the chocolate varieties from 64% to 85% (Valrhona), and flavored with pepperoncino, orange peel or ginger. The non-dairy flavors are also fantastic and maintain a creamy consistency. Some interesting flavors include the sesame, rice and honey, black sesame, and toasted almond.
Prices: 20 €/kg. Cone / Cup from 2,40 euro (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: Dark chocolate
Piazza Menenio Agrippa, 8, Rome. Tel. 06 827 2092
11° Al settimo gelo
The walk from Piazza Mazzini all the way to Via Vodie is more than justified when the homemade ice cream by Mirella Fiumano is waiting for you at Al Settimo Gelo. The carefully selected ingredients from dried fruits, eggs and dairy-products are all biological and sourced from trusted producers. The organic fruits are seasonally available, and sometimes come from Mirella’s own garden, such as the not-to-be-missed fig ice cream. With such high standards, the zabaione could not be anything but creamy and rich, and the pistachio from Bronte strong and defined with bits of crispy peels. Cones, waffle-cones and crepes are available gluten-free.
Prices: 23,50 €/kg. Cone / cup from 2 euro (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: fig
Via Vodice 8, Rome. Tel. 06 372 5567
12° Strawberry fields
This quaint little ice cream shop, tucked away in a rustic corner of the Prenestina neighborhood, is as good as a trip to your trusted greengrocer. Nothing is overlooked in this gelateria: the products are all natural and cultivated biologically (especially the fresh locally grown fruits), the ingredients are selected from the best zones and from farmers who respect ethical standards. The fruit flavors are the strong point: refreshing, just picked, and with a flavor of the actual fruit itself. The Banana Caracas— a grilled banana with cane sugar, rum and cinnamon– is excellent and intense. Slightly less flavorful is the blueberry or rose hip. There are interesting options for lactose intolerants, such as the pistachio, hazelnut cream, or “Olvi” prepared with extra-virgin olive oil rather than milk.
Prices: 20 €/kg. Cone / cup from 2 euro (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: banana caracas
Via Tor de’ Schiavi, 287, Rome. Tel. 0664962777
Just a few steps from the La Sapienza University, this second branch of Fattori (the first is in Pigneto) produces a wide range of delicacies, such as savory snacks, pastries, and ice creams. The highlight is the friendly and helpful staff who let you try various flavors of gelato. Here the consistency of the cream is smooth and pleasant, and the flavors are rich and well-defined. Try the Sicilian Cannoli— an explosion of tastes with pieces of dough and candied fruit. The “crema orientale,” flavored with cardamom, rose water, saffron, ginger, pistachio and almond, is not to miss. The more gluttonous among us will love the cheese cake flavor or ricotta with honey and almonds. Special mention goes to the cookie-cone which is fantastic.
Prices: 18 €/kg. Cone / cup from 2 euro (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: Cannolo siciliano
Viale Ippocrate, 114 Rome. Tel. 06.446 6186
Via Alberto da Giussano, 80. Rome.
14° Gelateria del Pigneto
You cannot pass by without noticing this small gelateria located in the center of a traffic island in the Pigneto neighborhood. Breathe in the air of times long past here and feel almost at home. The specialties are the refined flavors made with flowers and spices: violets, roses, jasmine, anise, cinnamon, ginger. The rose and violets are especially good– silky and with a delicate but defined flavor. The fruit flavors are also great, especially pear. Granita with the traditional sicilian brioche is also available.
Prices: 19 euro / Kg ( 24 euro for pistachio). Cone / cup from 2 euro (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: Viola
Via Pesaro 30, Rome. Tel. 06 7061 3680
15° Mela e cannella
In 2004 Davide Monitoroni opened this gelato laboratory on a side street of Viale Marconi. In the simple, no-frills shop, the posters on the wall say everything about his creations: “What isn’t there?” Colors, conservatives and additives are banned from the gelato, and only the finest quality products are used. The taste confirms what is written on the poster: the “Cream on the Port” is delicious, as is the “amisticanza” (honey and dried fruit). Try the saffron and pine nuts, apple and cinnamon, apple and basil, pear and coriander, or pear and ginger.
Prices: 21 €/kg. Cone / cup from 2 euro (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: amisticanza
Via Oderisi da Gubbio 71, Rome. Tel. 06 55301622
16° Il gelatario
The first branch of Gelatario is found in a nearly-deserted corner of the Tuscolana neighborhood. Though the staff are a big hurried and not excessively friendly, you can nonetheless breeze past this thanks to the greatness of the pistachio gelato– rich, and with that characteristic touch of saltiness from the nuts themselves. The Crema Romana with caramelized, chocolate Gentilini cookies is not to be forgotten. Great value for the price.
Prices: 18 €/kg. Cone / cup from 1.70 euro (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: Pistachio
Via Tuscolana 325, Rome. Tel. 067834672
It seems to be catapulted into a modern Korova Milk bar, the meeting place of the Clockwork Orange gang. It is the feeling of finding yourself wrapped in a frozen heaven, where perhaps the ice froze even the employees, or perhaps it was just an off-day. The selection is not vast, but there is a good ratio of creams and sorbets, of which the Mango Alphonso and the Mandarino Ciaculli di Sicilia are highly recommended, as they both have a well-defined flavor and good density. As for the creamy flavors, special mention goes to the decidedly epic pistachio from Bronte. Also try the cream made with Parisi eggs and the cheese cake. The ricotta di bufala, the orange, and lemon with chocolate pearls, on the other hand, were indistinct or poorly-paired. The finger foods are also interesting: cookies, mini gelato cakes, red wine or hazelnut donuts, or Mille-feuille.
Prices: 20 €/kg. Cone / cup from 2.50 euro (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: Pistachio
Vice, corso V. Emanuele II 96 Rome. Tel. 06.80687860
Viale G. Marconi, 207. Rome.
18° Il gelato di Torcè
Claudio Torcè, the coach of the spearheads of Roman gelaterias, introduced the seed of naturalness and authenticity into the ice cream scene, while experimenting and stupefying with his savory flavors: gorgonzola, puttanesca (a pasta sauce with tomatoes and olives), celery and habanero, wasabi and peppers. With over 60 flavors, you can find fruit, savory flavors and cream-based ice creams, and even some that are not very intense and not very memorable. Get yourself confused while selecting between the 20 flavors of chocolate, and have fun pairing flavors, such as lime with Madagascar green pepper, or Tarallucci cream with wild fennel, or brie and berries, or beets and lime. Great selection of lactose-free flavors.
Prices: 19 euro / Kg. Cone / cup from 1.50 euro (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: Chocolate with pink Himalayan Salt
Via dell’Aeronautica 105, Rome. Tel. 06 97882939
Viale Marconi 455, Rome.
Viale Aventino 59, Rome.
19° I Caruso
This old-fashioned ice cream shop is well known in Rome both for it’s soft and silky creams, and for its pistachio, though by now it has been out-done by several of its competitors. Tourists and loyal locals alike line up for their cone, cup or “peccato di gola” (sin of gluttony, small portions of semifreddo). While made with high-quality ingredients, I Caruso is a gelateria that focuses on the traditional flavors without taking risks or trying experiments. The hazelnut IGP is fantastic, as is the cream with marscarpone. The coconut stands out amongst the fruit flavors.
Prices: 22 euro / kg. Cone/Cup: from 2.25 (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: Cocco
Via Collina 13, Rome. Tel. 06 42016420
Carapine, a Florentine gelateria from owner Simone Bonini, popped up between the city walls with it’s own unique philosophy: focus on the season (there is a calendar of seasonal fruits) and on the selection of ingredients that are blended with a passion for experimentation and using typically off-limits products, such as italian cheeses or Vin Santo cream, or beer. Here there are some good starting points that may need some time to smooth out the rough edges. The pecorino romano and wildflower with honey are highly recommended, as it strikes the perfect sweet / salty balance.
Prices: 27.50 euro / kg. Cone/Cup: from 2.50 (whipped cream included)
Recommended flavor: Pecorino romano e miele millefiori
via dei Chiavari 37, Rome