The Joy of Gelato

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy Rome’s heavenly gelato. OK, the rest of the year is pretty good, too!

Years ago our go-to place was San Crispino, which we pass on the way to the Trevi Fountain, at Via della Panetteria, 42. Unfortunately, the place became famous after being featured in the movie Eat, Pray, Love‘s “eat” portion. The place became swamped, and the servers became as surly as the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. Things have calmed down since then, and the service has been more pleasant the last few times we’ve been there. We still like to stop there on occasion, particularly for the terrific mandarino (mandarin orange), miele (honey), and whisky flavors.

San Crispino
San Crispino

But over the last few years there’s been a boom (and a boon to consumers) in artisanal gelato. Some of these new places are flat out fabulous, and explore gelato flavors in new ways. Forget chocolate and pistachio, think (amazing) flavors like pear and gorgonzola, carrot, dark chocolate and horseradish, basil, or sweet onion… you get the idea.

A terrific option a few minutes’ walk from us is Fatamorgana, which has a branch on the way to Piazza del Popolo at Via Laurina, 10.  A favorite there is the pear and gorgonzola flavor (as well as the very friendly service).

Our local branch of Fatamorgana
Our local branch of Fatamorgana

A bit farther afield, we like the Gelateria del Teatro, with a branch along the river near Tiber Island at Lungotevere dei Vallati, 25 (there’s another location at Via di San Simone 70, off of Via dei Coronari). Our favorites here: kiwi, ricotta/fig/almond, tiramisu, and chocolate fondante with Nero d’Avola wine.

Gelato di Teatro
Gelato del Teatro

Vice is a funky place… apparently intended to remind one of being in an ice cave (our closest is at Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 96). But you don’t go there for the decor. You go for the cheerful service and the flavorful gelato with the amazing texture. Heavenly pistachio, chocolate-banana, cheesecake, and lemon are some of the winners there. This was our #1 favorite until…

Choices, choices, choices at Vice...
Choices, choices, choices at Vice…

… we went to Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè, with a branch at Viale Aventino 59, near Circus Maximus (take metro to Circo Massimo and walk south down the street toward Testaccio), look for the window with the symbol on it:

Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè sign
Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè sign

Nice service, and wow! I got the cup at the top of this post, with carrot, chocolate, and a few other terrific tastes of heaven. I’d never thought I would one day eat carrot gelato — and it’s amazing. Really!