Although a visit to Rome is full of wondrous sights and scenes, very few attractions will measure up to the simple pleasure of enjoying a scoop of gelato. This well-known treat is an Italian institution that is pure bliss in its creamiest, iciest and sweetest form. There are countless flavours to choose from, each inspiring a satisfied “mmm” after every bite. Its history is contentious, its flavour is delicious and – as Accor Hotels’ handy infographic proves – enjoying this frozen indulgence while in Rome is an absolute must!
A Controversial History
In true Italian style, gelato is the topic for many excellent heated discussions. The argument derives from whether ancient Rome, Greece or Egypt deserves the credit for the epiphany that inspired its creation. Historically, it is believed that travelling messengers in Sicily would sweeten snow found on the slopes of Mount Etna with honey and then add berries or nuts to it. In the seventeenth century, a Sicilian named Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli invented the first gelato machine, greatly simplifying its production and thus bringing the food of The Gods to the masses.
When in Rome…
Now, I am not suggesting that your trip to Rome would be a complete waste of time if you did not indulge in this city’s ice cream treasures, but I can guarantee that you will regret it. Rome’s gelaterie are some of the best in the country, and it would certainly be a novel way to see the city by doing a tour of gelato shops. Here’s the cream of the crop!
Neve di Latte – This could quite possibly be the city’s best ice cream shop. Since it’s located near the Vatican Museum, you’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone in style.
Gelaterie San Crispino – This historic parlour is just what you’ll need after a hot day of exploration at the Pantheon.
Vice – The only thing that could possibly enhance the romance and grandeur of the Villa Borghese is this shop’s classic recipe for gelato.
A Magical Tasting Adventure
Gelato is crafted in small batches in an array of flavour choices that is mindboggling. The Italians’ creativity on this front knows no bounds, with classic flavours ranging from chocolate, hazelnut and lemon to more adventurous ones, such as coffee mousse and Kentucky chocolate tobacco flavour. Although some of these more elaborate recipes sound exciting, the real pleasure of gelato comes from its authentic ingredients and flawless taste combinations, such as ricotta and caramelized fig or chocolate and rosemary.
Rome is without a doubt a foodie’s paradise, and one life simply does not allow enough time to sample all of the gastronomic delights it has to offer. However, witnessing the golden glow of the setting sun over the stunning skyline of this ancient city is perfected by the exquisite taste sensations that are found in a cone of cool, creamy and satisfying gelato. Buon appetito!