Of course I had to have gelato on my first day here in Rome. I also plan to have it every day on this visit.
Gelato is such a national past time in Italy. You can hardly take 10 steps in Rome without seeing someone licking a cone or without seeing the familiar lighted ice cream cone signs that are all over Rome.
Via Uffici del Vicario 40, Rome
As I rounded the corner and approached Giolitti I knew I was in for a treat. The bright sign and crowds of people outside prove how popular this place is. Giolitti is said to have 57 flavors with some being very imaginative. For €2.70 (I think how much it was) you can get a medium size cone with 2 flavors.
My choices are riso (rice) and cassata siciliana. Casata is modeled after a sicilian dessert and has bits of candied fruit, choclate and pistachio. I took my gelato in a cup and had it topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. How decadent is that? You gotta get the whipped cream.
The riso was delicious and currently stands as my favorite. This is why I came back to Rome. It's sounds weird but the bits of aborio rice add to the sweet flavor and give it a chewy texture.
The cassata was equally as creamy and delicious. I love the bits of fruit and pistachio. The taste takes me back to old Sicilia (never been there!).
Via della Panneteria 42, Rome (near the Trevi Fountain)
How bad am I?
After Gilolitti I started to walk around and ended up near the Trevi Fountain. Let me tell you that this may be one of the most impressive sights in Rome.
Since I have been walking all evening I decided to have gelato again. San Crispino is another famous gelato shop near the Trevi Fountain. At San Crispino you get two scoops for €2.50.
My selection is their famous honey gelato and fig. Fig gelato? Now that's different. I have to say that I was unimpressed. San Crispino didn't live up to it's reputation. Personally I thought the flavors were weak and the portions were less thn generous. I was really surprised to find that the cup it was served in had a shallow bottom so it didn't hold as much as it seemed.
Crowds don't lie. Giolitti is by far the best gelato shop in Rome. I will have more updates later in the week from a few other gelaterias.