Rome is a haven for gelato. There are probably just as many gelateria as there are churches in the city, from huge labyrinths offering over 250 flavours, to pokey windows, to gourmet establishments offering everything from pistachio to parmesan.
Rome is to the gelato afficiando, what Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory is to Augustus Gloop.
But, with so much on offer, it’s easy to fall for the trap of picking the place with the brightest and most acrid colours, or the fluffiest looking mounds. Just bear in mind, within those delightfully aesthetic scoops, there are hundreds of colourants, additives, GMOs and artificial thickeners which make them look so damn good on instagram.
Here’s my guide to three of my favourite gelato in the city (all natural of course):
Gelato pioneer Simone Bonini opened his first gelateria in Florence, with an aim to shake-up the static gelato industry. He’s certainly done that - the emphasis at Carapina is on seasonal and fresh gelato, crafted with natural production methods. Flavours range from the booze infused such as ‘zabaione’ (infused with wine), to Sicilian lemon, to the downright cheesy (parmesan).
Despite opening another gelateria in Rome, Bonini still runs a strictly hands on quality check here. Inside the gelateria furniture is modern and, incidentally, for sale (quirky), whilst shelves are covered in artisanal products such as fresh pasta and bottled juices.
Prices start at €2.50 for a cone - Via dei Chiavari 37/37 (just behind Campo de Fiori)
Located down a nondescript sidestreet behind Piazza Navona, this tiny gelateria produces organic, vegan gelato. Gelato here is created with sustainable production methods, without additives, synthetic dyes, animal fats, and GMOs. Vegans can be fun too!
Note, they have a daily ‘secret special’ on offer - a sort of amalgamation of an assortment of ingredients which alternate daily. I tried an ominous looking green scoop which, frankly, I could've eaten buckets of.
Prices start at €2.50 for a cone. Via del Governo Vecchio 54/55
Not strictly a Gelateria, but if you’re looking for something a little different, this is your place. Hidden around the corner of Piazza Santa Maria, in the ever hip Trastevere, this bar is a popular haunt amongst Roman locals, not least because of the surprisingly cheap prices and high quality produce.
The chocolate gelato is renowned here - ask for it con panna (with cream). Gelato is served in a small glass, but ignore the token soggy wafer. Take a seat outdoors and wile away an evening watching passersby enjoy Trastevere, from a perfect little patch.
Prices start at €2. Piazza San Calisto 3-5,