There’s an old saying that when you’re in Rome, you should do as the Romans do, so as long as you’re in Italy, don’t ask the locals about “ice cream.” Ask instead about “gelato” and they’re bound to give you a long list of places where you can obtain this desirable treat. Because you don’t have time to try every single gelateria, as Italian ice cream parlors are called, we’ve narrowed our list down to the top five can’t miss treats.
Gelateria del Teatro
Although the Gelateria del Teatro is located squarely in the historical section of Rome, most tourists are reluctant to explore the long, winding streets that would lead them to this gem. As a result, the Gelateria del Teatro caters mostly to locals. The establishment is especially famous for its imaginative blends of flavors such as chocolate and red wine.
Giolotti opened its doors in 1900, making it one of the oldest Roman gelato manufacturers. Giolotti is all about customer service. Those who want to incorporate gelato into special days such as birthdays or wedding celebrations can rent the Decima Castle for full gelato catering services. The delectable treats range from Torta Giolitti, a rich ice cream cake, to the decadent combination of ice cream, custard, and chilled zabaione known as Coppa Giolitti.
Gelaterio Della Palma
No ice cream lover touring Italy should miss the treats offered here. Della Palma is conveniently located near the Pantheon. It offers a staggering 140 flavors of ice cream, including 36 different varieties of chocolate.
San Crispino has two locations. The older one, which has been in business for 15 years, can be found near the Basilica of San Giovanni. The newer one has its home near the Trevi fountain. San Crispino is unique because if offers only gelato – there are no sauces, no whipped cream, and no ice cream cones that might interfere with the taste of the carefully made ice cream. And because San Crispino has no room for seats, when you order a gelato you’ll be given your ice cream in a cup with a plastic spoon and sent on your way.
Palazzo del Freddo, or Fassi
The ice cream parlor known to locals as Fassi opened its doors in 1880. It has moved a couple of time since its opening, and is now located in the Via Principe Eugene near the Termini Station. Fassi offers a large selection of flavors, and the best prices you’re likely to find on gelato anywhere in Rome. Some days are even designated half price days. In addition to the great deals on ice cream, you’ll enjoy the elegant atmosphere which includes towering ceilings, marble floors, and turn-of-the-century advertising posters on the walls.