Finding the best gelato in Rome was a passion project that we approached with sweet vigor. Read on to discover our picks for the 17 best Rome gelato shops.
We expected Rome’s gelato to be good. After all, Italy is gelato’s epicenter and Rome is its capital city.
Our first trip to the Italy in 2010 was a rushed, rainy blur. We’re ashamed to say that we have no memory of eating any gelato in Rome during that visit. At least we ate gelato (among other Italian desserts) in Florence and Bologna after we left Rome.
Since then, over the past decade, we’ve licked cones all over Italy from Matera in the south to Trento in the north without disappointment. Before returning to Rome in late 2020 and again a year later, we really didn’t anticipate its gelato to be remarkably different since there’s plenty of good gelato all over the boot.
As it turns out, gelato in Rome isn’t good. It’s great. It may very well be the pinnacle of gelato enjoyment.
Since our first visit, the city’s gelato scene has morphed into a gelato movement. Roman gelato shops transform natural, local, seasonal ingredients into creamy, dreamy, urbane flavors reflective of the sprawling Italian capital’s zeitgeist.
It’s enough to make us swoon.
We didn’t have to look hard to find dozens of famous gelato shops in Rome. They’re located all over the city, with several gelaterias operating multiple locations.
Even better, the best Rome gelaterias serve world-class cones for less than €5 and sometimes as low as €2.
In our opinion, Rome has the best gelato in Italy.
We get that this is a bold assertion. We know that Florence is the birthplace of modern gelato and we appreciate that Bologna has a prestigious gelato university that attracts aspiring gelato producers from around the world. They’re both great Italian cities for gelato without debate or doubt.
But, all that being said, Rome is our favorite Italian city when it comes to eating gelato. That’s why we returned for a third visit after the pandemic to eat even more gelato as well as other tasty bits and bites.
Skip chains like Grom, Gelateria La Romana and Venchi in Rome. While their gelato is fine, the real gelato gems are served at local, independent gelaterias like the ones featured in this guide.
Table of Contents
- The Best Gelato in Rome
- 1. Come il Latte
- 2. Fatamorgana Gelato
- 3. Gelateria del Teatro
- 4. Otaleg
- 5. Al Settimo Gelo
- 6. Giolitti
- 7. Gelateria dei Gracchi
- 8. Frigidarium
- 9. Torcè
- 10. Palazzo del Freddo Giovanni Fassi
- 11. Günther Gelato Italiano
- 12. Fiordiluna
- 13. Gelateria Mastro Cono
- 14. Neve di Latte
- 15. Gelateria del Viale
- 16. Il Gelato di San Crispino
- 17. Dolci Desideri Gelateria Tony
- Additional Rome Gelato Shops
- Gelato in Rome FAQs
- Planning Checklist
The Best Gelato in Rome
Finding the best gelato in Rome isn’t an endeavor for the weak. It involves a strenuous regime that starts in the morning and ends at night. It also involves traipsing the city with pit stops at iconic sites like the Vatican, Pantheon, Colosseum and Trevi Fountain.
While this endeavor sounds fun, it can be grueling when combined with afternoon pasta sessions and evening pizza feasts. We utilized intense planning skills as we juggled our time and stomach space among Rome’s sweet and savory food specialties.
As true gelato fans, we were up for the challenge. In fact, we embraced the endeavor with a gusto fueled by both gelato and multiple cups of Rome’s finest coffee.
After taste testing a LOT of gelato both on cones and in cups and returning to do it again, these are our 17 favorite gelato shops in Rome:
1. Come il Latte
Eating gelato at Come il Latte was stressful for us. First we had to choose from a list of more than 20 gelatos and fruit sorbets. Then we had to make tough decisions about chocolate sauces and homemade panna montata (Italian whipped cream).
The stress was enough to make us consider opting for an ice cream sandwich or sundae instead. However, we stayed strong and ordered a medium sugar cone with three gelato flavors, two different chocolate sauces and no panna montata. To our pleasant surprise, a chocolate coated wafer completed the ensemble.
Named after the milk that’s the primary ingredient in creamy gelato, Come il Latte, open since 2011, locally sources ingredients like fresh milk, organic eggs and seasonal fruit. The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the gelato.
The shop also reaches around the globe to obtain specialty ingredients like vanilla, cocoa, pistachios, hazelnuts and cinnamon for flavors, both classic and creative, as well as ingredients for those on restricted diets. Yes, Come il Latte has options for gelato lovers who follow sugar-free, low-carb and vegan diets.
But wait, there’s more. We saved the best bit for last.
Come il Latte’s fountains flow with dark and white chocolate sauce. When we asked whether we could choose both sauces for no extra charge, the answer was yes and, in a remarkable example of quick decision making, that’s exactly what we did.
2. Fatamorgana Gelato
With a mission statement that places nature over tricks, Maria Spagnuolo’s Fatamorgana sells some of Rome’s most unique gelato flavors. Spagnuolo must be doing something right since she now has several gelaterias spread around Rome, one of the most food-focused Italian cities.
Many of her gelato concoctions pair disparate ingredients like tobacco and chocolate. Others are named after fairytale characters like Pinocchio (a vanilla, pear, lemon cake/pecorino melange), Snow White (Tahitian vanilla, apple chunks and raspberry sauce) and Thumbelina (rose petals, violet flowers and Sorrento walnuts).
We didn’t try any of those fanciful flavors nor did we sample tempting treats like sushi gelato and ice cream cake. Instead, we followed Fatamorgana’s path toward simplicity by pairing two gelato flavors – Lemon Curd and Milk Chocolate – in one cup. This seemingly simple yet pure combination of acidic lemon and sweet milk chocolate was divine.
Though our stomachs were stretched to their limits after a pasta session involving plates of Amatraciana and Carbonara pasta, we justified adding a dollop of panna montata. As is common knowledge, whipped cream doesn’t takes up much, if any, stomach space.
3. Gelateria del Teatro
After sharing a cone at Gelateria del Teatro, we agreed to disagree.
Daryl thought that the scoop of Fior di Lavanda e Pesca Bianca (lavender and white peach) was the better scoop. Mindi felt the same about the scoop of Sacher all’Arancia (chocolate and orange).
Well, at least we agreed that these two scoops were among the best we ate in Rome – perhaps the very best.
Gelateria del Teatro might have been new to us but the artisan gelateria isn’t new to Rome. Stefano and Silvia Marcotulli opened their original shop near Piazza Navona in 2006.
The duo’s commitment to creating quality gelato starts with focused sourcing and ends inside cones baked with olive oil.
We visited Gelateria del Teatro during a stroll along the River Tiber. How we missed this excellent gelateria during our 2010 visit is an unsolved mystery. We certainly won’t miss it when we visit Rome in the future. In fact, we’re already planning which flavors to sample next.
Order your gelato on a cone at Gelateria del Teatro. Made with olive oil, these cones are a notch above the rest.
Gelateria del Teatro has multiple Rome locations. We visited the gelateria located at Lungotevere dei Vallati, 25, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
Marco Radicioni’s creativity doesn’t stop with a name that’s literally the reverse spelling of ‘Gelato’. Visitors to his conveniently located Trastevere gelatria experience his whimsy in flavors that simultaneously surprise and delight the senses.
Since we weren’t able to physically enter Otaleg due to the pandemic or when we returned more than a year later, we blindly ordered flavors without seeing them displayed in all their glory. Instead of tampering our curiosity for the slate of 30 flavors including 20 creamy options and 10 without milk, the situation inspired us to push our gelato envelope.
Living up to the phrase ‘when in Rome’, we paired a scoop of traditional pistachio ice cream with a more creative gelato made with talegeggio cheese, Sichuan peppers and candied orange. We then topped our cone with a dollop of panna montata for good measure.
While not our favorite cone of the week, Otaleg’s gelato may be the most memorable for its bold flavors, unique ingredients and creative combinations. Would we order gelato with tellegio cheese and Sichuan peppers again? Probably not. Will we return to Otaleg? Absolutely.
Update – We did NOT order tellegio cheese gelato when we returned to Otaleg. We instead ordered a simple cone topped with mango gelato. It was divine.
Consider stepping out of your gelato comfort zone when you eat gelato at Otaleg. You can order chocolate and vanilla flavors back home.
Otaleg is located at Via di S. Cosimato, 14a, 00153 Roma, Italy.
5. Al Settimo Gelo
Open since 1997 on a residential street not far from the Vatican, Al Settimo Gelo isn’t in a well traveled neighborhood and it isn’t a hipster haven. However, this unassuming Prati gelato shop is a top contender for our favorite gelato in Rome.
We’re not alone. There’s a reason that locals patiently take numbers and wait on a tree-lined street for gelato flavors that feature both local fruits and exotic ingredients sourced from around the world.
Al Settimo Gelo stands out from the crowd for a few reasons starting with its gelato’s great value. Then there’s its whipped cream machine that makes ordering a dollop a must. But the most important reason is Mirella Fiumanò’s spectacular gelato.
During our visit, we couldn’t resist ordering a scoop of Fiumanò’s Persian gelato created with rose water, saffron, pistachios and almonds. We also couldn’t resist adding a scoop of her chocolate gelato made with fair trade dark chocolate sourced from Peru. Topped with a scoop of panna montata, the two flavors created a temporary state of gelato bliss that we look forward to experiencing again.
Order a scoop of Aghan gelato if you prefer cadamom over saffron.
Al Settimo Gelo is located at Via Vodice, 21, 00195 Rome RM, Italy.
Open in Rome for more than a century, Giolitti has the honor of being both the city’s oldest operating gelateria and the first stop on our Rome gelato tour. Original owners Giuseppe and Bernardina Giolitti launched the business in 1890 and it remains in the Giolitti family all these years later.
Unlike Rome’s more recently opened gelato shops, Giolitti’s decor features a vintage glass counter and plenty of dark wood fixtures. We weren’t disappointed by these old school vibes nor were we disappointed by Giolitti’s simple, pure flavors.
During our autumnal visit, the Giolitti menu offered seasonal flavors like orange and fig as well as classic flavors like almond and pistachio. As equal opportunity gelato eaters, we chose a flavor from each category at the gelato shop’s smaller location.
While Cioccolato Fondante (dark chocolate) was as classic as it gets, Sangue di Dracula (Dracula’s Blood – made with plum instead of blood) was both seasonal and fun.
Sitting at an outside table, we licked our double scoop gelato cone until it was gone. Then, we had the difficult task of choosing our favorite flavor between the two – a decision far more difficult than choosing whether to sit inside or outside.
Was it the smooth fondant that wasn’t overly bitter or was it the chunky plum that wasn’t overly sweet? We couldn’t pick one over the other. The combination of the two was sweet gelato harmony.
Pop over to Giolitti main location after you visit the Pantheon to experience a different aspect of Roman history.
Giolitti has multiple Rome locations. Visiting the original gelateria located at Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, 00186 Roma RM, Italy is a must.
7. Gelateria dei Gracchi
Our visit to Gelateria dei Gracchi was inevitable. A Rome tram literally dropped us off in front of one of the gelateria’s locations during our separate quest to find the best specialty coffee in Rome.
Honestly, we might have missed the nondescript storefront if we hadn’t previously added it to our mobile phone map app. This particular gelato break was clearly meant to be.
Ordering gelato at Gelateria dei Gracchi was a sweet challenge due to the preponderance of enticing flavors like Cioccolato Fondente all’Arancia (dark orange chocolate) and Fico d’India (prickly pear).
Once we tasted our chosen flavors of Cubano (dark chocolate with rum) and Ricotta e Pere (ricotta cheese and pear), we knew we had navigated Gracchi’s flavors magnificently.
Repurposing a tree stump as a temporary table, we intended to just take a couple bites for research purposes.
Before we knew it, our cup runneth empty. Oops!
Order a granita if you’re in the mood for a cold treat on a hot day. The shop had four flavors – almond, coffee, basil ginger and lemon – on its menu during our visit.
Gelateria dei Gracchi has multiple Rome locations. We visited the gelateria located at Viale Regina Margherita, 212, 00198 Roma RM, Italy.
Frigidarium isn’t as critically acclaimed as the other Rome gelato shops in our Rome gelato guide yet it’s just as popular. But why?
An easy guess is related to Frigidarium’s prime location within easy walking distance to major sites including the Vatican. Another easy guess is Frigidarium’s value pricing. Our two scoop cone cost just €2 at the time of our visit.
However, neither of these features is what we loved most about Frigidarium during our visit. For us, the best part about eating gelato at Frigidarium can be summed up in two words – chocolate dip.
Don’t get us wrong. The vast selection of gelato at Frigidarium is top notch. We especially enjoyed the gelateria’s sour cherry Amarena flavor.
For us, though, the chocolate dip is this gelateria’s tasty game changer. Quickly hardening into a candy shell, it evokes memories of childhood cones eaten at Dairy Queen but at a much higher level. Plus, Frigidarium’s chocolate dip is free upon request. Winning!
Request a chocolate dip when you order your gelato cone or cup at Frigidarium. During our visit, we noticed that we were the only customers savvy enough to make the request. If you don’t like chocolate, you can request sweet cream instead.
Frigidarium is located at Via del Governo Vecchio, 112, 00186 Roma, Italy.
Claudio Torcè has become a Rome gelato icon since he opened his first Rome gelato shop in 2003. Over the years, the gelato master has trained many of Rome’s best gelato makers including Maria Spagnuolo (Fatamorgana Gelato) and Marco Radicioni (Otaleg).
The grandson of a Roman baker, Torcè sources ingredients from around the world to create gelato flavors that skew sweet, salty and savory. During our visit, available flavors ranged from the simple (Easy Chocolate) to the sublime (Chocolate with Himalayan Pink Salt) with a detours to the garden (Celery Cream) and cheese shop (Gorgonzola).
Luckily for Roman locals and food travelers with a penchant for tasty treats, Torcè’s gelato is as spoon worthy as any other gelato in the city and more so than most.
As we discovered while visiting his gelato shop near the Colosseum, Torcè serves some of the most interesting gelato in town.
Choosing from a case filled with multiple chocolate gelato flavors, we diverted from the ordinary by choosing the one with Himalayan pink salt and then topped that scoop with sweet Cassata (Sicilian cake with dried fruit and liqueur) gelato.
This globally-inspired combination with salty crystals and candied chunks thrilled us. We greedily licked it until the cone was just a sticky yet sweet memory.
Leave your guilt behind when you eat gelato at Torcè. The innovative gelateria uses fructose and lactose-free milk in its recipes. Gluten-free cones are also available.
Torcè has multiple Rome locations. We visited the gelateria located at Viale Aventino, 59, 00153 Roma RM, Italy.
10. Palazzo del Freddo Giovanni Fassi
Gelato standout Fassi Gelateria is big. Really big. Compared to many of the best Rome gelato shops, its spacious dining room is ginormous.
Fassi Gelateria is also historic. The Fassi family business dates back to 1880 when Giaomo Fassi opened a shop where he sold ice, beer and eventually sorbet. Over the generations, the Fassi business became dedicated to gelato and semifreddi desserts.
And, finally and most important, Gelateria Fassi’s gelato, produced on-site, tastes great.
Narrowing the options can be a challenge at Fassi Gelateria. Overwhelmed by counters filled with a gelato as well as chocolate-coated sanpietrini (gelato shaped like cobblestones), we ultimately chose two signature flavors to best experience Fassi Gelateria’s craft.
Pairing a scoop of pistachio gelato made with single origin Sicilian pistachios with a scoop of Zuppa Inglese gelato studded with chocolate chips was a good move. Topping both scoops with a dollop of freshly whipped cream was even better.
Although the Fassi family operates just one gelato shop in Rome, the family has more than six dozen locations in South Korea.
Palazzo del Freddo Giovanni Fassi is located at Via Principe Eugenio, 65-67, 00185 Roma RM, Italy.
11. Günther Gelato Italiano
Finding Günther Gelato Italiano is a breeze while sightseeing in Rome.
Over the past decade since Günther Rohregger opened his his first shop near Campo de’ Fiori in 2012, he’s since opened a gelato shop near the Pantheon and another near Piazza di Spagna. There’s even a Günther gelato stand at the Mercato Centrale.
Rohregger clearly hasn’t let his passion for artisanal gelato stop him from opening shops convenient for both locals and tourists. That passion also motivates him to source water from Plose in Alto Adige and micro-filtered milk from local farms.
While the convenience of the Günther gelato shops is a plus, the main draw is the gelato itself. Rohregger draws inspiration from his childhood in South Tyrol when creating flavors like Pino Mugo (i.e. Mountain Pine) but other flavors like Ricotta Stregata, made with Strega liqueur and candied citrus, scream Southern Italy.
Flavors are seasonal which is why we couldn’t resist ordering a scoop of peach gelato while our traveling companions ordered two scoops – milk chocolate and pistachio. We were all happy with our choices.
Order a smoothie if you’re more in the mood to sip than to lick.
Günther Gelato Italiano has multiple Rome locations. We visited the gelateria located at Via dei Pettinari, 43, 00186 Roma RM.
Fiordiluna isn’t fancy and its outer walls are decorated with graffiti, as happens in Rome’s tourist-friendly Trastevere neighborhood. You’ll find what matters most inside the shop – great gelato.
This Trastevere gelato shop began sourcing organic ingredients from a cadre of small producers decades ago. This trendy practice is nothing new to owner Aldo Pasquarella who champions both ancient production methods and the fair trade movement.
While Pasquarella’s productions methods are admirable, his creamy gelato flavors are the main draw at Fiordiluna. His Dueto gelato, a mishmash of pistachios and hazelnuts with dark chocolate, is the compact gelato shop’s most notable flavor while his Novellina gelato is a close second with its combination of custard and cookies.
We tried both of those creative flavors during our visit. As to which was our favorite, we agree to disagree yet again. That being said, we agree that both were winners.
Order a scoop of gelato produced without sugar if you follow a sugar-free eating plan.
Fiordiluna has multiple Rome locations. We visited the gelateria located at Via della Lungaretta, 96, 00153 Roma RM, Italy.
13. Gelateria Mastro Cono
Located less than a block from the Pantheon, Gelateria Mastro Cono isn’t featured in many ‘Best Gelato in Rome’ lists yet. However, we suspect that situation will be changing quickly. How could it not?
Not only is this ‘cone master’ super convenient to one of the city’s most iconic sites, but its artisan gelato is a solid choice when you need good gelato right away. Hey, it gets hot in Rome during the summer months.
We found Gelateria Mastro Cono the old fashioned way – we literally bumped into it while exploring Rome by foot. Feeling a bit peckish, we simply couldn’t resist the shop’s cute design and its sign promising artigianale (i.e. artisinal) gelato.
Within minutes of entering the shop, we were sharing two tasty gelato flavors – Variegato with blended sweet cream and fresh sour cherries and Malaga, a combination of sweet wine with raisins. Together, they were heaven on a cone.
14. Neve di Latte
Neve di Latte literally translates to milk snow, a phrase which likely has significance in its native language. However, for us as English speakers, we found the significance at Neve di Latte in the simple scoops of gelato on top of our cone.
Sure, we could have chosen more exotic flavors. However, simplicity ruled the day at this gelateria which was simultaneously fancier and friendlier compared to many Rome gelato shops in this guide. Case in point – we didn’t have to ask for panna montata – it was offered to us.
And the best part… Neve di Latte has a bathroom, not a given at many of the best Rome gelato shops.
Calling our double decker gelato cone simple is actually a bit of a misnomer. The deep purple blueberry gelato burst with flavor while the dark chocolate gelato, made with 85% African chocolate and raw Brazilian cane sugar, was chock full of chocolate shards.
In other words, our gelato cone was divine.
Grab a table, take a seat and relax while you eat your gelato cone at Neve di Latte. Also, don’t forget to use the facilities!
Neve di Latte has multiple Rome locations. We visited the gelateria located at Via Federico Cesi, 1, 00193 Roma RM, Italy.
15. Gelateria del Viale
Gelateria del Viale has been making Trastevere sweeter since 1985. The pint-sized gelato shop serves gelato one cone at a time to a stream of locals and tourists who patiently queue next to graffiti and parked bikes.
After joining the queue and tasting the gelato, we understand the allure.
Choosing from 23 flavors that included rose petal and white mint was a challenge that somehow ended with scoops of mango and strawberry gelato in our cup. Two spoonfuls quickly became ten and before we knew it both scoops were but a sweet memory.
Include Gelateria del Viale in your Trastevere gelato crawl. You should also include Otaleg, Fatamorgana and Fiordiluna.
Gelateria del Viale is located at Piazza Giuseppe Gioachino Belli, 9F, 00153 Roma RM, Italy.
16. Il Gelato di San Crispino
Open for more than 20 years, Il Gelato di San Crispino is perpetually crowded despite having limited flavors and two tiny tables.
Some of the crowd ambles to the tiny gelateria after tossing three coins into the Trevi Fountain while others bump into the gelateria while walking to or from the Pantheon. Then there are those who make a pilgrimage to eat gelato where Elizabeth Gilbert had her Eat, Pray, Love moments. We went for the gelato.
Il Gelato di San Crispino serves its gelato in cups and without fanfare. Accordingly, we ordered a cup with two scoops – a scoop of the gelateria’s signature Crema gelato and a scoop of Ginger and Cinnamon.
We appreciated the purity of both flavors produced with seasonal ingredients and without additives. They paired so well together that we didn’t miss extras like panna montata for a moment.
Order a gelato made with Amragnac or Marsala if you want a little something extra in your gelato.
Il Gelato di San Crispino has multiple Rome locations. We visited the gelateria located at Via della Panetteria, 42, 00187 Roma RM, Italy.
17. Dolci Desideri Gelateria Tony
Popular with locals since it scooped its first cones more than 50 years ago, Dolci Desideri Gelateria Tony creates a range of gelato flavors in its on-site laboratory. Some of these flavors are filled with ingredients like Nutella and pistachios while others simply feature locally sourced fruits and cream.
Ironically, Gelateria Tony isn’t on many ‘best gelato in Rome’ listicles despite its artisinal gelato. That’s too bad since most travelers are missing out on some of the city’s best gelato as well as the shop’s gelato take on spaghetti and fried eggs.
We’d like to claim that we discovered Dolci Desideri Gelateria Tony after hours of research but that wouldn’t be true. Instead, we literally bumped into the unassuming shop while walking to the tram stop after eating pizza at La Gatta Mangiona. Luckily, we had just enough stomach space to justify a wee bit of gelato.
Dazzled by options that included a colorful Sicilian Cassata and Indispensable, a new-to-us flavor which combines pistachios with amarena cherries, we went big by ordering a cup of Cannolo with candied orange, chocolate chips and pastry shells.
Reaching the bottom of the cup, we made sure to scrape out every last bit before we caught our tram. Next time we’re not sharing.
Purchase a frozen Tiramisu treat to enjoy in your hotel room or apartment.
Gelateria Tony has multiple locations. We visited the gelateria located at Piazza S. Giovanni di Dio, 1, 00152 Roma RM, Italy.
Additional Rome Gelato Shops
Our favorite 17 gelato shops will satisfy most food travelers who venture to Rome. If you’re truly gelato-obsessed or visiting Rome for an extended time, you should also try one or more of these additional Rome gelato shops:
Gelato in Rome FAQs
Gelato has more milk and less cream compared to ice cream. It’s also delicious.
Most gelato in Rome is good. The gelato at our recommended gelato shops is great.
While Come il Latte is our favorite Rome gelato shop, the best way to answer this question is to taste them all yourself.
Anthony Bourdain ate gelato at Gelateria dei Gracci when he film the first season of The Layover in Rome.
Phil Rosenthal has not yet filmed an episode of Somebody Feed Phil in Rome.
Stanley Tucci skipped Rome’s gelato shops when he filmed the first season of Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy. You’ll have to rely on our recommendations instead.
No. In fact, most Roman gelato shops are highly affordable.
No. Tipping is optional in Italy.
This is a trick question since it’s always a good time to eat gelato in Rome.
View the latest Web Story.
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: February 11, 2021