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One ice-cream a day keeps depression away!
24 May 2014

The Top 4 Ice cream Parlors near the Pantheon 

Ice-cream in Rome

What’s better than having a cold cone full of tasty sweet bliss in the sunshine? Italian ice cream is famous for a reason and an absolute must for anyone living in or travelling through Italy. In fact, you can barely take two steps without coming across a gelateria packed with the curious, studying the flavors and the satisfied, enjoying the cones filled with their favorite flavors.

What makes Italian gelato so special is the way it’s made. There are two kinds of ice cream offered, the hand-made and the industrially made one. You definitely want to avoid the second kind and only go for the ones that say “artigianale”. What’s the difference, you say, and how do you know? Let me tell you the basics of gelato science and tasting.

My favourite icecream - Ice-cream in Rome

Ready, set…. Choose!

 Gelato Artigianale – Ice Cream in Own Production

Handmade Icecream - Ice-cream in Rome

Not too fancy, and organic colors – looks good to me!

This type of gelato is made only with the best and freshest ingredients available, usually without added conservatives. The main ingredient is fresh milk, followed by sugar and cream. Surprisingly enough, gelato artigianale has a lower fat count than industrial ice cream – another reason to go for this one!




Industrially produced Ice Cream

Artificially-made Icecream - Ice-cream in Rome

Looks inviting – but the colors are a little too bright and the consistency looks a bit too stable for my taste

This type of ice cream is usually produced well in advance and contains therefore conservatives. It’s also typically made with powdered milk and additives such as colorants, stabilizers and artificial flavors. What makes them light and soft is the introduction of air – in fact, they consist of about 70% air as opposed to 35% tops in gelato artigianale.

How do you know your ice cream is of good quality?

Well, there are a few factors to consider when picking your gelateria and the flavors. First of all, take a good look at the vendor – is he passionate about his job or did he just come from a cigarette break with the smell still on this hands? Then take a good look at the flavors – are the fruit flavors made with seasonal fruit? Can you see small ice crystals on the tubs? Is the ice cream immobile and does not melt, even though it should be? Are the colors bright and flashy or mute and organic? You know you’re having industrially made ice cream if you taste strawberry flavors in winter!

A good ice cream parlor will offer you a small taste of any flavor you choose before picking your favorite, so don’t be shy to ask for it.

To help you through the jungle of Gelaterie, here are my personal favorites near the Pantheon:

1.       Giolitti

Giolitti Icecream - Ice-cream in Rome

Different flavors from fruit sorbet to creamy chocolate – Giolitti has a flavor for everyone

 A gelateria famous due to the quality of milk used has been founded in 1890 and offers a wide variety of flavors. (I may be biased since it’s located right below our office). You will need to get the receipt at the cash register and then take it to the ice cream counter, where you can then pick your flavors. The cones range from small to very large (between 2 and 4 flavors), and cream is free.

 Location: via Uffici del Vicario 40

Favorite picks: Chocolate, Biscotti, Fior di Latte

Remember to get your receipt first!

 2.       GROM

Grom Pantheon - Ice-cream in Rome

The metal containers make for the industrial feel – the gelato is made in the back of the store

Here you will exclusively find gelato artigianale, produced in the back of the store. They are specialized in using organic and naturally produced ingredients, specially sought out and ordered from all over the world, and they have special flavors for vegetarians and vegans. You won’t be able to see the flavors as they’re being kept fresh in vintage looking metal containers. Before scooping the slab on your cone they will batter it on the edge of the container to make it smoother – something you will likely only see here!

Location: Via della Maddalena 30 A

Summer hours: Sunday through Thursday 11 h to midnight (Friday and Saturday until 1.30 h in the morning!

Favorite picks: All of them!

Avoid: none, but watch out for the sugar content in the flavor of the week

 3.       Venchi

Venchi - Pantheon - Ice-cream in Rome

Delicacies made from chocolate – the newest addition to the Gelato Heaven in the center

A chocolate shop with a long Italian history has opened a Gelateria right in the center of Rome, offering some wonderful ice cream from own production – mostly chocolate, but with some fruity flavors. Don’t miss the chocolate fountain – if you ask nicely they may even hold your gelato underneath it for liquid goodness on top of your frozen delicacy.

Location:  via degli Orfani 87

Hours: Every day from 10.30 h in the morning to midnight

Favorite picks: Cremino, Brutto e buono (Ugly and good)

Special tip: if afterwards you feel like coffee, go to the Tazza d’oro right across from it

Remember to get your receipt first!

 4.       Lindt

Inside Lindt Pantheon - Ice-cream in Rome

Ice cream, breakfast, dessert and coffee – what else can you ask for?

Another chocolate specialty store with a small choice of Swiss chocolate flavors in the front and all their famous goodies in the back. Not rated as highly as Venchi since it’s not Italian and their variety of flavors is limited. In taste it’s an almost unbeatable delight!

Location: via della Maddalena 12

Favorite picks: white chocolate with hazelnuts, dark chocolate, variegato al cioccolato (a mix of chocolate and cream)

Remember to get your receipt first!

And now I’m curious to hear about your experiences and opinions!

Here you can find apartments near the Pantheon (also called Gelato Central)!

Minerva Holiday Apartment

Altemps Holiday Apartment

Campo Marzio Holiday Apartment

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