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Gelato

The world-famous Italian ice cream perfect on a hot day in the city.

TravelCurious Tip

The Gelateria del Teatro also does a terrific granita — something that can be even more refreshing than gelato on a hot day

Let’s be clear: gelato is not simply Italian ice cream. As any aficionado will tell you, it’s very different indeed. For starters, there’s less butterfat in gelato, meaning that it freezes less solidly and thus has a smoother texture. And whereas water and air are often cheekily added to ice cream to increase its volume and weight, the same is not true for gelato, so you get a stronger flavour. Finally, gelato is not made for long-term storage. It’s made in small batches, to be eaten fresh.


Not all gelato vendors are artisans, however. So steer clear of places with puffy clouds of gelato, as they are likely using artificial thickeners. Also be wary if the colours are too bright — they might have thrown in some chemical to get those tantalising hues.


Fortunately it is not at all hard to find good gelato in Rome. Ciampini on Piazza San Lorenzo, between the Spanish Steps and the Parthenon, do a divine marron glacés with bits of candied chestnut mixed into their gelato. Combined with the dark chocolate gelato it is sinfully good.


For something a little more refined head to Gelateria del Teatro, not far from Piazza Navona. Excellent natural ingredients and and creative flavours are what make this place. Try the white chocolate and basil or the garden sage and raspberry — they work!


If you want to see the artists at work, then you can try I Caruso, not far from the Termini train station. Here they make their gelato on site, and you can watch them at it. It’s almost as mesmerising as those Lindt adverts with the master chocolatiers and the thick coils of melted chocolate falling from a whisk.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
Trastevere
A busy, charming and characterful district across the Tiber which has kept hold of its authenitic Roman feel.
Wine
When in Rome, drink what the Romans drink.
Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere
An ancient and colourful Christian church in one of the liveliest spots in town.
Piazza Santa Maria
A happening square in the heart of Trastevere where you can relax, people watch and enjoy the festivities in the evenings.
Roman Wine
Historically believed to be a necessity, daily wine is simply part of daily life in Rome and has been for thousands of years.
Traditional Enoteche
Literally translated as a 'wine retailer', Rome is known for its' wine bars, with fantastic food dishes and sides to accompany the wide array of wines available for purchase.

Related Tours

Taste of Rome: Private, All-Inclusive Food Tour
Enjoy a fun-filled, delicious and scenic food tour, eating out and about in some of Rome’s loveliest neighbourhoods with the expert guidance and knowledge of your guide. On your private tour you will: 

  • Enjoy eating like a Roman with the personalised attention of your private tour guide.
  • Enter a wide variety of local markets and eateries, sampling fresh, traditional local Roman produce on this lively, interesting and not to mention tasty tour!
  • Try a variety of cheeses, cold cuts of different meats, pizza ‘al taglio’, and traditional Roman street food 'fritti' (fried food) like Suppli and trapizzino.
  • Meet and chat with the passionate owners of the food stalls, shops, cafes and restaurants you’ll visit – many of whom have proudly worked in the business for several generations. 
  • Enjoy wine and beer at different stops, included throughout your tour.
  • Enjoy the sights, sounds and delicious smells wafting on the breeze as you begin sampling the local produce and learn about where it comes from and how it’s made.
  • End your tour just off Piazza San Cosimato with delicious artisanal gelato
When in Rome, eat like a Roman! This fabulous and all-inclusive food tour takes in some of the most enchanting, traditional neighbourhoods of Rome as you taste your way through the delicious flavours of the Eternal City. From traditional cheeses like burrata and pecorino and cold cuts of meat to warming, delicious street food like trapizzino and pizza by the slice. Enjoy 'suppli' –traditional fried rice balls with tomatoes, mozzarella and minced meat and enjoy the sun-ripened flavours of Italy in one mouthful. 

This is a great opportunity to experience authentic Italian cuisine and learn about the country’s delectable wines and flavours. Embrace the smells, buzz and charm of traditional neighbourhoods as you saunter down cobbled alleys and enchanting piazzas. Your tour guide will take you to the best local eateries, markets and shops, where you will not only get the chance to taste the delicacies but also learn about the people behind the magic. Understand the traditions and values that have produced such tasty good food for generations. The Romans – and all Italians – really appreciate homemade, fresh, local produce – so it’s not surprising that Italian cuisine leads the way when it comes to global gastronomy. Your tour includes a very full meal’s worth of tastings, wine and soft drinks are also provided throughout the tour, so make sure to arrive on an empty stomach!
Private Pizza and Gelato Making Class in Rome
Enjoy a totally immersive, interactive, and delicious private cooking class where you’ll make your own Roman-style pizza and delicious Italian gelato ice cream with a local Italian chef who speaks perfect English. In your private cooking class you will:

  • -Enjoy the personalised and expert attention of your chef-instructor!
  • Feel welcome and at home with a glass of prosecco and classic Italian snacks to keep you going, as your private chef introduces the class to you! 
  • Hear about Roman pizza - how it’s made, how its thin crust differs from thick crust Neapolitan pizzas. 
  • Learn the all-important answer to the question: what’s the difference between gelato and ice cream? As you learn how to make it. 
  • See how to make a traditional Roman pizza, gather your ingredients, watch your professional chef demonstrate how to knead the pizza dough expertly – and have to go yourself! 
  • Decorate! Once your dough is ready, it’s time to get kneading again and roll it out so it’s nicely flattened, then choose from a variety of delicious, fresh Roman ingredients laid out for you. 
  • Eat and enjoy your very own handmade Roman pizza and the dolce homemade gelato after!
  • Note: Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. 

Enjoy a fantastic foodie experience in Rome on this private pizza and gelato ice cream making class with a professional English-speaking Roman chef. Great fun for couples, friends and families, you’ll discover the secrets behind classic Roman cuisine: Roman pizza and gelato. 

Your private chef instructor will welcome you to the class with a glass of prosecco (or soft drink if you prefer) and a variety of delicious Roman-style snacks and antipasti, from crisps to olives, cheeses and meats. 

You’ll then be shown all the different ingredients that you’ll be using as you learn all about the history of pizza making and gelato ice cream in Rome. Then it’s time to get stuck in! First, make the gelato – and learn the differences between Italian gelato and ice cream. As the gelato sets, it’s time to move on to the pizza. 

You’ll learn the art of kneading the pizza dough and flattening it out. You’ll have a huge variety of ingredients to choose from for the all-important toppings before cooking it in a traditional wood-fired pizza oven. Decide will it be Bianca or Rosso (with or without tomato sauce)? Will you use cured or cooked ham? Mushrooms? Olives? Which cheeses? The choice is yours! When you’re happy with the look of your pizza, take a specially made shovel and put it into a traditional, very hot wood-fired oven for just 1-2 minutes.

The only thing left to do… is to tuck in and enjoy your pizza and gelato – Bon Appetito! 
Small Group Food Tour of Testaccio in Rome
Explore Rome’s best-kept secret, the dynamic and vibrant area of Testaccio, a real foodie hub, where traditional Roman food ‘Cucina Romana’ was born. On your small group tour, you will: 

  • Enjoy the intimacy of a small group tour and the personal attention of your local guide. 
  • Discover Testaccio a cool, edgy neighbourhood of Rome famous for its street food and street art. 
  • Escape the crowds and get a real glimpse of daily life while tasting the best of what the city has to offer.
  • Explore the historic food market ‘Mercato Testaccio’ with its fresh produce and delicious street food stalls. 
  • Enjoy sampling a variety of delicious Roman street food from fritti to suppli. 
  • Hear how Testaccio was remarkably built on a huge hill of broken and disused ancient Roman amphorae (clay jars). 
  • See the caves that were dug into the mound, and how they have been transformed from storage units into lively restaurants, discos and raucous bars!
  • Walk past the MACRO modern art museum, formerly the Testaccio abattoir that supplied the offal for classic dishes. 
  • Meet the vendors who have worked the market for generations and enjoy a sit-down pasta dish in a local trattoria. 

Enjoy a delicious walking and eating tour of Testaccio – one of Rome’s coolest neighbourhoods, really popular with locals, and least visited by tourists. Testaccio has a vibrant community and is really proud of its history and reputation as the birthplace of typical Roman food – Cucina Romana. Walk around the historic market, chat to the friendly vendors – who have worked here for several generations – and sample their offerings. 

Testaccio is a unique area built onto an enormous mound of discarded amphorae – ancient clay jars. You’ll see some amazing street art, as well as the more historic monuments like the Pyramid of Cestio, which marks the Protestant cemetery where the English poet John Keats is buried. 

Your guide will introduce you to classic Roman street food like Fritti (fried foods – like cod and Fiori de Zucca, battered balls of mozzarella, zucchini and anchovy), and Suppli, breaded rice balls cooked in a tomato ragu with a yummy, gooey centre of melted mozzarella. 

Get stuck into some mouthwatering pasta dishes at a local trattoria, and enjoy a convivial meal with fellow travellers on this small-group tour, in Testaccio while it is still a really well-kept secret! 
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