When in Rome..ditch the diet!

Posted by Jennie Celdran

I don’t exaggerate, anyone who’s been to Italy can relate to indulging in gelato. Maybe because there are gelaterias left, right and center and so how can you resist! One look at those mounds of colorful, creamy goodness and you forget you’re on a diet! Plus the joy it brings is absolutely bang for your buck at E2.50 – E3.50  (around P150) depending on the size.

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Countless choices!

So what’s the difference between gelato and ice cream? Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream so gelato is Italian style ice cream, and while ice cream is scooped, gelato is “dug” using a spade. As for taste and texture, gelato is creamier and has a smooth and silky feel.

In Rome there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of gelaterias. And from the dozens of cones and cups blissfully consumed by yours truly, here are a few worth the calories and euros.

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Cone, cup, single, double, triple?

Giolitti / Via Uffici del Vicario, 40 – Roma

Giolitti is an institution and has been around since the 1800’s. It is probably Rome’s most celebrated gelateria. Expect long lines all hours of the day. They offer more than gelato, they have cakes and pastries as well but the line is always for the gelatto. You can’t miss it, Giolitti is just a stone’s throw away from the Pantheon. Here’s a bit of trivia, Marron Glacé was the favorite flavor of Pope John Paul II.

We liked Stracciatella and Raspberry.

Venchi / Via della Croce, 25/26 – Roma

Venchi is a well known chocolate brand, their gelato brand is relatively new having been created only in 2006, but they can very well go head on with the more established gelaterias. They wanted to offer a new experience with a product that was different from chocolate but had the same natural ingredients, fresh sensations, and crafted feel using their chocolate, Venchi.

Venchi gelato offers rich, all-Italian flavours, with completely natural colors. No bright green for the pistachio or vivid pink for the strawberry. The shades are the exactly the same as the fruit they come from.

The Venchi we frequent is around the corner from the Spanish Steps. This shop is open till late at night so it’s perfect for a late night dessert.

We liked Brutto & Buono Superior Milk Chocolate with  whole hazel nuts.

Gelateria del Teatro Via dei Coronari, 65-66, Roma

The location is straight out of a movie set. The walls are a weather beaten ochre colour and the steps beside the shop is frozen in time and picture perfect, if and when you have it all to yourself!

Owned by former pastry chef Stefano Marcotulli and his wife, Silvia they use only the finest seasonal ingredients. Lemons from Amalfi, pistachios from Sicily, and hazelnuts from Piedmont are translated perfectly into creamy, flavorful gelati.

Look out for the sign that says we have no wifi here, we want you to talk to each other! So don’t even attempt to ask for the wifi password.

We tried lemon and strawberry and absolutely loved it.

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Impossibly romantic location of Gelateria Del Teatro

After your Roman holiday, no one will blame you for having gelato separation anxiety!