The first thing I noticed about Gelateria la Romana was the never-ending line of mostly Romans, that snaked out of the door and onto the road, at all times of the night and day. The lines were constant and unbroken, in a way that was frankly, a bit surreal.
When I realized that all these locals were standing in line for gelato, boy oh boy, we joined that line just as fast as we could. And were rewarded with the most exquisite scoop of creamy goodness I’ve ever tasted.
Jump to what you want.
Gelato vs Ice Cream: What’s the Difference
To call gelato, ice cream, is like calling a diamond, cubic zirconia. It looks the same, but one is clearly an imitator. And a poor one at that. Ask anyone who’s had the grand privilege of slurping up a creamy gelato on a hot summer day in Italy, and they’ll tell you the same.
While gelato and ice cream are both made up of cream, milk, and sugar, the proportions are different. Gelato typically uses more milk, and has a lower percentage of fat, despite its epic creaminess.
I can’t say that I’ve tried gelato from every single shop in Italy (despite my best efforts) but make no mistake about it, all gelati are not created equal. It seems sacrilegious to even think it, but I’ve even had some truly bad gelato in the Beautiful Country. *Shudder.
Mostly though, an average cone in Italy will put North America’s best to shame. Which is good or bad, I guess. Depending on where you live.
And then there are the scoops that are so beyond the realm of what we call mere “ice cream,” that they can only be described as heavenly.
Which brings me to Gelateria la Romana, which is quite probably one of the best gelato in Rome.
How to Order Gelato at Gelateria la Romana
At a gelato shop like Gelateria La Romana, getting your ice cream fix can feel like fighting for a bartender’s attention in the hottest nightclub in town, but the process is actually quite streamlined.
You simply line up at the cash, order your gelato (size or number of scoops), and then take your receipt to the gelato bar. You tell the gelataio whether you’d like a coppa (cup) or cono (cone), and which flavours you’d like.
Typically, the smallest size (piccolo) costs around 2 euros and includes 2 different gusti (flavours).
What to Order at Gelateria La Romana
If it’s your first time trying gelato (lucky you), There are over 20 different choices at Gelateria La Romana, but these are the flavours I always turn to over and over again.
For a nutty gelato, you can’t go wrong with a Pesto di Pistacchio or Pesto di Nocciola Trilobata (hazelnut). I always have at least ONE of these on every gelato I eat.
For a fruity gelato, try the Croccante all’Amarena, which is comprised of whole black cherries mixed with crunchy bits of hazelnut, meringue and chocolate.
And finally, for a classic taste, go for the Stracciatella Grand Cru. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s simplicity makes it boring. It’s anything but vanilla.
Cup or Cone?
Much to Agri’s horror, I always choose a cup when ordering my gelato, because it melts much faster than I can eat it. What can I say, I don’t devour 2 huge scoops of gelato in 2 bites, like someone else we know (not mentioning any names). And seriously, what a waste of good gelato.
Gelateria la Romana though is the ONLY place where I’ll choose a cone, and risk all that gooeyness dripping down my fingers and arms. Simply because when you choose a cone, it comes coated on the inside with either pistachio, dark chocolate or white chocolate.
To Panna or not to Panna?
To make your decision even more complicated at Gelateria la Romana, you can also choose from a number of different panna, (whip creams) to top your gelato with, including regular, zambione or chocolate. At no extra cost.
Where to find Gelateria la Romana
Established in 1947, in the historic centre of Rimini, La Romana was named after the founder’s daughter, and offers gelati that are created using traditional recipes and high quality ingredients like organic milk, fresh cream and seasonal fruit.
We visited the Via Venti Settembre 60 location in Rome almost every day but there are La Romana shops all over Italy, in Spain, and even in a few cities in Germany.