In Rome, eating gelato is a year-round activity. Come these awesome warmer months, it’s officially two scoop season. My family and I weren’t shy about eating gelato everyday in Italy.
While exploring Rome and Florence for a week, we feasted on both scrumptious, knock-your-socks off gelato and just mediocre gelato. I’m here to tell ya:
- where I found the best gelato places to be in both Rome and Florence,
- what to look for when you walk into a gelato shop, and
- a few flavor combinations to try.
Best Gelato places we found:
- Hands down, the best we had in Rome, was at Millennium. It’s about a half mile walk from the Vatican museum and oh so worth it. We had their gelato at least twice, with each of us getting a flavor, and none of them disappointed. Our favorite was the cherry (or was it cherry vanilla?) but really all the fruit flavored ones amazed us. http://www.gelateriamillennium.it
- Il Procopio – Is a little out of the way but I think that helps keep the owner true to his craft – fresh, handcrafted gelato. We grabbed single scoops here and ate outside on the nearby square. (Sidenote: there’s a vegan restaurant on the square). There was a steady stream of customers but the few minute wait was the deliciousness in the end.
- Cantina del Gelato – We found this amazing gelatoria by accident. It started raining, then really raining, so I ducked into a wine bar (Signorvino) while Greg and the girls ducked into Cantina’s. After ordering scoops for the girls, he immediately texted me and said I’ve gotta try this place. Finishing my glass of Barolo faster than I would’ve liked, I dashed over and ordered a scoop of chocolate and hazelnut. Worth the raindrops, lemme tell you.
What to look for:
Not near either of my recommendations but still want to have a delicious scoop of gelato and not industrialized junk? No problem. Here are a few things to look for.
- The Mint flavor. This is my first gauge of if its crafted gelato or tourist garbage. The right kind of mint gelato is white, maybe super pale green. Natural mint gelato uses essential oils and the super pale green mint gelato uses the leafs itself. In short: if the mint gelato is bright green walk back out.
- Ingredient list. By law gelatorias must show the ingredients used to make their product. Good and great places will show these lists in easy to spot places. Not so good places will not show ingredient lists prominently. Pro Tip: how many things starting with E-#### are on the list? While some of these are good (E410 and E412 are natural additives) others are icky additives. Blue Patent anyone? Yuck.
If you’re feeling adventurous, here are some flavor combinations to try:
- Banana and Chocolate
- Pear and Cinnamon
- Cherry and Chocolate
- Pistachio and Sesame
- Vanilla and Peach
- Chocolate and Hazelnut
- Tiramesu and Cream
- Mint and Blueberry
- Carrot and Dark Chocolate with Coffee
Want to know if you should take your big camera or leave it at home? Read here
Or, read about our first family day trip upon moving to Germany here