No trip to Rome would be complete without eating your weight in gelato – the Italian version of ice cream. Romans have enjoyed ice cream since ancient times and the “Eternal City” is one of the best places in Italy to find it. Gelato is a year-round love affair here and you don’t need to wait for the mercury to rise to enjoy it. Finding the best gelato in Rome is a daunting task as this frozen Italian treat is omnipresent in the city. Read on to discover our picks for the 11 best Rome gelato shops.
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Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?
Before we dive into our list of the best gelaterias in Rome, it’s important to note that gelato is not ice cream, and word to the wise: never call it ice cream when in Italy. But if you thought that gelato was just a fancier name for good ol’ ice cream, we don’t blame you!
Though gelato and ice cream are both creamy, frozen desserts made from ingredients including dairy and sugar, gelato is actually rather distinct from ice cream. The difference lies in the proportions of each with gelato having more milk (and less cream) compared to ice cream. It also doesn’t usually contain egg yolks the way that ice cream does.
Gelato is creamier, smoother, silkier, and more elastic and fluid than ice cream. Because it’s made with less air than ice cream, gelato has a denser structure and this denseness allows it to pack a much more intense flavor than traditional ice cream.
Best of all!—gelato is also lower in fat (5 to 7% fat compared to a minimum of 10% fat for ice cream) which means it’s all the more reason to have at least one cup or cone every day of your trip!
Gelato is also traditionally served about 6–8°C (10–15°F) warmer than ice cream, meaning it will melt faster but also allow the tongue to experience a richer flavor.
Top-quality gelato ought to be creamy but not too fatty, devoid of ice crystals, and should have a clean taste that isn’t overpowered by milk or sugar. Finally, gelato should be kept in steel containers and it isn’t scooped, it’s traditionally served with a device that resembles a spatula.
Where To Get the Best Gelato in Rome
We spent a considerable amount of time trying a wide assortment of Rome gelaterias on our recent visit. Rome is a strong contender for having the best gelato in Italy and the city is home to some outstanding gelato shops.
Similar to the response you’ll get when asking Neapolitans where to get the best pizza in Naples, asking Rome denizens where to find the city’s best gelato is sure to generate a contentious debate and a flurry of invective.
Probably more so than consistency, texture, ingredients, or innovative flavors of the gelateria where it’s served, what qualifies as “the best” trickles down to a mixture of neighborhood pride, and backstory.
Nevertheless, below are our top 11 places for the best gelato in Rome in no particular order. They are scattered in different districts of the city so as to ensure you’ll never be far from the perfect gelato wherever you are in Rome.
1. Neve di Latte
Why is Neve di Latte a leading candidate for the coveted title of the best gelato in Rome? Since its inception in 2011, Neve di Latte’s natural and artisanal gelato has shone not only for the quality of its raw materials, but also for its amazing creaminess, consistency, and intensity of flavors.
Indeed, the ingredients for Neve di Latte’s gelato are rigorously organic, sourced, and selected from the finest producers in their field: Paolo Parisi eggs and Amedei chocolate from Tuscany, milk, and cream from a biodynamic farm in the mountains of Bavaria, Manuka honey from Australia, sugars from the Philippines, and so on.
Though Neve di Latte largely focuses on traditional flavors, they like to surprise patrons every now and then with unexpected options.
I dare say that the gelato at Neve di Latte is arguably the best we’ve ever had. Their pistachio is made with nuts straight from the Sicilian town of Bronte, while their chocolate is so divine it borders on a religious experience.
In Italy, it’s common to ask for two or three different flavors in the same cup, so be adventurous and try different flavors.
I was actually a bit disingenuous when I said earlier that our list is in no particular order because in our book the gelato at Neve di Latte definitely shares the top spot for the best gelato in Rome we had! You’re not going to regret walking in here, although your waistline might 😉
Opening Hours: Neve di Latte has two locations in Rome that are open daily but have slightly different operating hours, though both locations are open from 12:00-23:00.
2. Come il Latte
Go decipher for yourself what the magic is behind the gelato at Come il Latte, which along with Neve di Latte was our favorite Roman gelateria. Many Romans assert that Come il Latte serves the best gelato in Rome and it’s hard to dispute that claim.
Everything at Come il Latte is made onsite from fresh, organic ingredients such as milk from grass-fed cows and fruit from local farms. This leads to a colorful and vibrant range of gelato that incorporates plenty of usual (pistachio, lemon, stracciatella, coffee) and unusual flavors (caramel with pink Himalayan salt, mascarpone with Gentilini biscuits, Earl Grey tea with cinnamon biscuits, and pineapple and basil).
You won’t see the gelato here, as it is kept in silver canisters deep in the counter to maintain the temperature constant at which it is kept soft.
Hideously moreish, the richness of the gelato at Come il Latte is what bowled us over, each mouthful having a super-creamy finish to it.
Similar to Neve di Latte, Come il Latte has multiple lactose-free, low-carb, and vegan options.
As an added bonus, Come il Latte is undoubtedly the cutest and most Instagrammable of the gelato shops in Rome. The walls of the shop’s retro Parisian-style design are lined with vintage milk bottles, the floors are black-and-white tiled, and their flavors are handwritten on a chalkboard menu.
Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00 (Sunday-Thursday) & 12:00-23:00 (Friday-Saturday).
3. Gelateria del Teatro
Located on the charming Via dei Coronari, not far from Castel Sant’Angelo, the excellent Gelateria del Teatro is one of the few gems in the heart of Rome’s most touristy area.
A true artisanal gelateria, you can even watch the gelato being made through a large window featuring piles of lemons, apples, oranges, and pears, a rarity among gelaterias in touristy areas which tend to import their gelato.
The gelato here comes in big portions and the flavor selection is wide-ranging and creative, from white chocolate with fresh basil to ricotta with almond and figs. No matter what flavor you try, you won’t walk away disappointed.
Nothing beats sitting on the steps adjacent to the gelateria and watching the world go by while getting a mild sugar rush.
Opening Hours: 11:30-22:00 (Tuesday-Sunday).
It’s hard to pick the best gelato in Rome but Fiordiluna sits right up there among the crème de la crème. Hardly a day goes by without long queues of tourists and locals alike waiting for their sweet fix at this shop in the bohemian neighborhood of Trastevere.
Employing top-notch ingredients from local, small-scale producers, the focus at Fiordiluna is on classics like chocolate, stracciatella, cream, and lemon.
However, don’t be afraid to try offbeat concoctions such as Fred (custard with cookies) and the ever-popular duetto, a mix of pistachio and hazelnut.
Opening Hours: 14:00-20:00 (Tuesday-Sunday).
When selecting which gelateria to visit in Rome and which flavor to go for, keep in mind that seasonal fruits are always best. Avoid places featuring unnatural, brightly colored flavors like bright greens and blues. This indicates that the stuff is mass-produced and not at all authentic or superior in taste.
With a name evoking visions of ancient Rome, Frigidarium is located a stone’s throw away from the famous Piazza Navona. This family-run gelateria has made a name for itself as one of the most innovative gelato shops in Rome.
The gelato options have a well-balanced texture and are full of flavor, sure to surprise and satisfy the most demanding palates. You can’t go wrong with their signature gelato, Frigidarium – a delectable combination of caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and cookies.
The thing that stood out about Frigidarium for us was the option of having your gelato dipped in white or dark chocolate, which quickly hardens to form a candy shell!
Opening Hours: 14:00-20:00 (Tuesday-Sunday).
Günther isn’t as critically acclaimed as the other Rome gelato shops in our Rome gelato guide but judging by the masterfully swirled, richly colored gelato behind the counter it is evident that there is an obsession with quality here.
Founded by South Tyrolean gelato maestro Günther Rohregger, Günther is another top-notch gourmet gelateria in Rome. A true lover of gelato, Rohregger is also an insatiable experimenter, chronically creating and pairing new flavors.
Gourmet ingredients are combined to create a mouth-watering gamut of savory and sweet flavors. The standout flavors for us at Günther were buffalo milk with Malagasy pink peppercorns, ricotta with strawberry and balsamic vinegar, and Indonesian cinnamon.
The rapid rotation of flavors, depending on which ingredients are at their best, means it’s worth dropping by Günther regularly.
Opening Hours: Günther has four locations in Rome. All the locations are open daily but have slightly different operating hours, though they are all open from 12:00-22:00.
With at least six locations in Rome, Fatamorgana is quite obviously the real deal. True to its “no tricks, just nature” motto, all the flavors at Fatamorgana are made from only natural ingredients, without chemical additives, and are coeliac, gluten, and vegan friendly.
Founder Maria Agnese Spagnuolo is renowned for her brilliant and eccentric creations that are often seasonal. Fatamorgana is the place to be daring with your gelato choices and those with an adventurous palate will get their money’s worth here.
Some of Fatamorgana’s unconventional flavors include panacea (ginseng, almond milk, and mint), mint and goat cheese, pear and gorgonzola cheese, raspberry and hibiscus with black rice, basil with walnuts and honey, wasabi chocolate, olive tapenade, Lapsang Souchong tea, and kentucky (chocolate and tobacco).
However, if you’re not up for the dare, they’ve got all the classic flavors like hazelnut, chocolate, pistachio, tiramisu, and stracciatella.
More than anything, the balance of sweetness, taste, and creaminess of the gelato at Fatamorgana is just about as perfect as can be. Buon appetito!
Opening Hours: All the locations are open daily but have slightly different operating hours, though most locations are open from 12:00-23:00.
Your excursions in Rome will probably lead you to funky Trastevere and when they do, you must head to Otaleg (gelato spelled backward). Boasting 30 perpetually rotating fruit flavors and sublime classics, chock full of raw, delicious ingredients, it is no wonder that many Romans cite this as the real McCoy.
Owner Marco Radicioni’s imagination knows no bounds and this has cemented Otaleg’s reputation as one of the most creative gelato shops in Rome.
Some of the wacky flavors you may come across at Otaleg are gorgonzola with blond chocolate and hazelnut, beetroot sorbet, mayonnaise and rosemary, and the salty cacio e pepe (just like the famous Roman pasta dish) fava beans with Pecorino cheese.
We weren’t feeling too adventurous that day and stuck to the more traditional Greek pistachio, and eggnog with Marsala flavors. They were both outstanding!
Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00 (Sunday-Thursday) and 12:00-23:00 (Friday-Saturday).
9. Gelateria Del Viale
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll pay a second glance to Gelateria Del Viale on your search for the best gelato in Rome, but if you’re looking for an underrated, delectable hidden gem, then this is your spot.
This gelateria isn’t your traditional over-the-top opulent gelato parlor. Rather, a minimalist approach, little to no use of sugar, intense flavors, and an indisputably creamy texture have made it a local favorite on Piazza Giuseppe Gioachino Belli in the district of Trastevere.
Flavors at Gelateria Del Viale are those of traditional Italian gelato, as well as some fine blends. You will be treated to gelato at its simplest and at its finest.
Opening Hours: 12:00-17:00 (Monday) and 12:00-19:00 (Wednesday-Sunday).
10. Gelateria Fassi
Opened in 1880, Gelateria Fassi is the grand old dame of gelato shops in Rome making it a bonafide Roman institution. Located in the sumptuous Palazzo del Freddo in the multicultural Esquilino neighborhood, the shop is huge and able to accommodate large crowds.
A large selection of flavors, low prices, and fresh, high-quality gelato make Fassi an essential stop on your Rome gelato route. Besides gelato, you can also indulge in their historical “sanpietrini”, semi-frozen desserts covered with chocolate inspired by the historic cobblestones of Rome’s city center streets
Opening Hours: 12:00-21:00 (Monday-Thursday), 12:00-24:00 (Friday-Saturday), and 10:00-24:00 (Sunday).
11. Gelateria La Romana
Operating since 1947 with multiple locations not only in Rome but also throughout Italy and Europe, Gelateria La Romana is incredibly popular with locals and tourists, who happily queue for a bite of consistently delicious gelato.
Being a big pan-European chain, La Romana lacks the intimacy and charm of some of the city’s smaller gourmet gelaterias. But what it lacks in character it more than makes up for in the quality of its silky, sweet offerings.
Flavors range from trusty stalwarts like hazelnut, pistachio, and zabaione to more unusual creations such as rice cake, licorice, apple pie, chai latte, and fresh butter and blueberry jam. The sheer number of flavors at La Romana can be overwhelming so don’t hesitate to ask the servers for recommendations.
Opening Hours: All the locations are open daily but have slightly different operating hours, though most locations are open from 11:00-24:00.
How Much Does Gelato in Rome Cost?
Typically, gelato in Rome is sold by the size of the cup or cone, rather than the number of flavors or scoops. The price of a small (piccolo) cone or cup of gelato ranges from 1.80-3.00 EUR at all the gelato shops we’ve covered in our list. A small cup gets you at least two scoops.
While virtually all gelaterias do accept card payment, it’s always handy to keep some loose change on hand. Otherwise, there’s nothing worse than running out just when you’ve spotted some mouth-watering gelato.
If you’re wondering whether to get gelato in a cone or cup, Jacky and I personally prefer getting in a cone as there is nothing to throw away at the end except for a napkin, therefore being more eco-friendly.
Further Reading For Your Rome Visit
That summarizes our definitive guide to where to find the best gelato in Rome. We assume that you’re not going to Rome *just* to eat gelato (though we won’t frown if that is the case). Either way, we reckon you’ll find the following resources useful for planning your trip to Rome!
Further Reading For Your Rome Visit
→ Discover the 30 Best Things To Do in Rome!
→ Find Out How to Spend One Perfect Day in Rome!
→ Read Our Comprehensive Guide to Public Transport in Rome
→ Find Out about the 20 Foods You Must Try in Rome!
→ Uncover the 24 Best Rome Instagram Spots!
→ Discover How to Spend a Wonderful 48 Hours in Rome!
→ Check Out Our Ultimate 3 Days in Rome Itinerary!
→ Read Our in-depth guide to Visiting the Roman Forum!
→ Check Out the 20 Historical Sites in Rome You Shouldn’t Miss!
→ Browse through our comprehensive guide to the Roman Holiday Filming Locations in Rome!
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Herculaneum: Check out our definitive guide to visiting Herculaneum!
Do you agree with our list? Where did you find the best gelato in Rome? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!