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The Best Gelato in Rome
For many travelers, the first taste of gelato—Italian ice cream—is one of the most memorable moments of their Italian trip. Almost a cross between regular American ice cream and soft serve, gelato's texture is lighter and fluffier than hard ice cream because of the process by which it's whipped when freezing. Along with the listings here, you can find a number of gelaterias in Via di Tor Millina, a street off the west side of Piazza Navona, where there are also a couple of good places for frozen yogurt and delicious frullati—shakes made with milk, crushed ice, and fruit of your choosing.
Il Gelato di San Crispino. Perhaps the most celebrated gelato in all of Italy are created here at San Crispino. Without artificial colors or flavors, these scoops are worth crossing town for—nobody else creates flavors this pure. Flavors like chocolate rum, armagnac, and ginger-cinnamon keep taste-buds tap-dancing. And to preserve the "integrity" of the flavor, the ice cream is only served in paper cups. New locations behind the Pantheon (Piazza della Maddalena 3) and San Giovanni (Via Acaia 56) are proof that the word is getting out and the empire is growing. Via della Panetteria 42, Piazza di Trevi, Rome, 00183. 06/6793924. www.ilgelatodisancrispino.it. Closed Tues.
Giolitti. For years Giolitti was considered the best gelateria in Rome, and it's still worth a stop if you're near the Pantheon. It's best known for its variety of fresh seasonal fruit flavors, which taste like the essence of the fruits themselves. Via degli Uffici del Vicario 40, Pantheon, Rome, 00186. 06/6991243. www.giolitti.it.
Della Palma. Close to the Pantheon on a street just north of the Piazza della Rotonda, Della Palma serves 100 flavors of gelato, and for sheer gaudy display and range of choice it's a must. It also offers a colorful selection of bulk candy, as well as several flavors of granita on rotation. Via della Maddalena 20/23, Pantheon, Rome, 00186. 06/68806752.
Cremeria Monteforte. Immediately beside the Pantheon is Cremeria Monteforte, which has won several awards for its flavors. Also worth trying is its chocolate sorbetto—it's an icier version of the gelato without the dairy (except, of course, for the whipped cream you'll want them to plop on top)! Via della Rotonda 22, Pantheon, Rome, 00186. 06/6867720.
Fiocco di Neve. Don't miss the fabulous granita di caffè (coffee ice slush) here as well as a big scoop of gelato—the chocolate chip and After Eight (mint chocolate chip) flavors are delicious. Via del Pantheon 51, Pantheon, Rome, 00186. No phone.
Gelateria alla Scala. This may be a tiny place but don't let the size fool you. It does a good business offering artisanal gelato prepared in small batches, so when one flavor runs out on any given day, it's finished. Via della Scala 51, Trastevere, Rome, 00153. 06/5813174. Closed Dec. and Jan.
Cremeria Ottaviani. This old-fashioned gelateria is noted for its excellent granita di caffè. Via Leone IV 83/85, Vatican, Rome, 00192. 06/37514774. Closed Wed.
Pellacchia. On Prati's main shopping street, Pellacchia is a classic artigianale (homemade) ice-cream parlor that has been going since the 1920s. Via Cola di Rienzo 3-5, Prati, Rome, 00192. 06/3210807. Closed Mon.
Al Settimo Gelo. Located in Prati, this spot has been getting rave reviews for both classic flavors and newfangled inventions such as cardamom, chestnut, and ginger. Via Vodice 21/a, Prati, Rome, 00195. 06/3725567. www.alsettimogelo.it.
Alberto Pica. This artisan is renowned for his artisanal gelato production and selection of seasonal sorbetti and cremolate (like sorbetto but made with the fruit pulp, not the juice). An interesting gelato flavor to try here is the riso a cannella, like a cinnamon rice pudding. These are possibly the grumpiest bar owners in Rome, so remember: in, out, and nobody gets hurt. Via della Seggiola 12, Campo de' Fiori, Rome, 00186. 06/6868405. Closed Sun. and 2 wks in Aug.
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