“I’m eating gelato everyday”, Marc declared when we were about to land in Rome. For him, not eating gelato on a daily basis while in Italy is like going to Rome and not visiting the Colosseum. I’m glad he felt that way because daily shots of gelato was exactly what I had in mind!
Gelaterias (or in proper Italian, gelaterie) can be found in almost every corner in Rome. But beware, not all gelato is made equal. Apparently 80% of gelato shops in Rome carry the fake stuff (read: mass-produced from powder). The fluffy heaps of brightly coloured gelato in the touristy regions may look attractive but they are full of chemical additives, stabilizers and artificial colours. Gross!
To find artisan gelato, you want to look for paler coloured gelato (shown below). For example, pistachio gelato should be an earthy green; if it looks lime green, keep walking! Another test is the consistency. Gelato should look almost liquid at the right temperature, not stacked into a big pile with decorations on top. If you stumble upon a gelateria storing their gelato in metal tins covered with lids, it’s usually another good sign.
After trying (way too much) gelato, I’ve narrowed it down to my top four gelaterie! If you’re a hardcore gelato fan like Marc and I, you can try multiple in a day, but I take no responsibility for brain freezes 😉 .
- L’Arena del Gelato (near Vatican City): Ranked as one of the top gelato shops on tripadvisor, this is also my top pick. The gelato is handmade and you can taste the difference. The stracciatella was my favourite! By the way, when asked if you’d like panna (cream) on top, just say yes. You’re on vacation!
- Pico Gelato (in the Quartiere V Nomentano region outside of the city centre): An Italian recommended this to us. It’s a little pricier and a little out of the way but so worth it! They use only fresh and seasonal ingredients which means delicious gelato. It’s also one of the few gelaterie using metal lids. The gelato cannoli is also worth a try.
- Gelateria Del Teatro (near piazza Navona): The pistachio gelato there was one of the best I’ve ever had. This shop also makes so many creative flavours besides the traditional ones. Red Wine Chocolate, Pine Nut Custard, Sicilian Almond just to name a few! If you go at the right time you can even see their gelato making process.
- La Gelateria Frigidarium (near piazza Navona): Another great gelateria. You can even get your gelato dipped in different kinds of chocolate. It makes it a little difficult to eat, but I could never say no to chocolate!
All this gelato talk is making me hungry…
Thanks for reading et à la prochaine!