While there’s no shortage of good ice cream in the Eternal City, it can be a challenge to find the very best. Our local expert weighs in on six of the finest places to eat gelato in Rome.
On summer weekends, San Crispino is open until the wee hours, serving what our experts consider the best gelato in in the Italian capital. The flavors are seasonal, finely crafted from all-natural ingredients. Of note is their miele (honey) gelato and the chocolate meringue flavor with its exquisite texture. If you fancy your gelato served in a cone, you'll have to look elsewhere — they're purists here.
Consistently voted the best gelato parlor in Italy, Fatamorgana is a Roman institution where all-natural ingredients come together in tantalizing flavors like Bacio del Principe (“kiss of the prince” - a mix of chocolate and hazelnut) and Panacea (with almond milk, ginseng, and mint). If you just can’t get enough, owner Maria Agnese Spagnuolo has published a book called Gelati e Saluti (Gelato and Health) that includes her original recipes. There are 7 Fatamorgana locations around Rome - our favorite is the one in Trastevere, near Piazza San Cosimato.
Balancing the intensity of flavors, paying special attention to texture, and serving ice cream at a temperature that maximizes its mouthfeel: all of these are essential to producing a perfect scoop of gelato, which is what you’ll find at Come il Latte. They meticulously source each of their ingredients — milk comes from local cows, eggs from organic producers, vanilla from Reunion Island, pistachios from Sicily, hazelnuts from Piedmont, lemons from Sorrento — and flavors rotate with the seasons. On warm evenings, expect to find Romans lining up here for a scoop or three.
Premium seasonal ingredients, a quaint location near Piazza Navona, and a passionate owner are what set this gelateria apart from the rest. The biggest challenge here is choosing between outstanding fruit sorbets like cantaloupe and kiwi, more decadent flavors like Sicilian almond, and original creations like rosemary, honey, and Sorrento lemon. Outlets from The New York Times to Gambero Rosso have raved about del Teatro’s gelato, and Serious Eats calls their ice cream “ the perfect refreshment on a hot Rome day.”
Owned and run by noted gelato-maker Alberto Manassei, Gracchi has three Rome locations where they mix their ice cream fresh every day, using only the very best raw ingredients. Flavors range from traditional (vanilla, almond, dark chocolate) to innovative (caramel pear, Indian fig, coffee with star anise) to seasonal (wild strawberry, persimmon, quince, toasted almond and orange). No wonder this is Anthony Bourdain’s favorite gelateria in Rome.
Widely credited as the mastermind behind the all-natural gelato movement in Rome, Claudio Torcè uses only the highest-quality seasonal ingredients to create his one-of-a-kind flavors. On any given day you can choose from a myriad of sweet and savory varieties, including gems like ginger, chocolate and habanero chili. If you’re feeling adventurous, try celery, carrot, or gorgonzola with vinegar -- all of which demonstrate Torcè’s devotion to clean, pure flavor. For the best selection, visit his shop in EUR (take the Metro B to the Laurentina stop), where you’ll have a choice of over 70 kinds of ice cream. If you prefer to stick closer to the city center, stop by the location on Viale Aventino 59 near the Circus Maximus.