/Finding Natural Gelato in Rome

Finding Natural Gelato in Rome

Gelato in Rome
Chocolate and crema gelato at the new Neve di Latte.

Every now and again I get obsessed with certain subjects. A regularly recurring one is gelato. Over the past few months of intensive gelato research, I reached some conclusions about the state of gelato in Italy, Rome in particular. I know this is an unpopular stance, but I maintain that most of the gelato in Rome is simply awful. Sure, the gelato here is better than the average in most places in the world, but there really has been a dramatic and tangible decline in quality in the past decade. For that reason, it is all the more crucial to praise and support those who make natural, artisanal products. In the past 5 years or so, a number of outstanding artisans dedicated to quality have joined the fray.

Gelato in Rome
At Neve di Latte, the ingredients in each gelato are written on custom tags.

Definitions of exceptional gelato are highly subjective, but mine is best described as “natural”, that is, lacking in artificial colors, flavors, dextrose, and chemical stabilizers. Like the words “artigianale” and “produzione propria”, the word “naturale” isn’t really legally defined, can be quite misleading, and is often employed for marketing purposes. That means the consumer has to work hard to figure out what she is really eating. I’ve done careful research and here’s a round-up of some gelaterias in Rome serving exceptional all-natural gelato made from high quality ingredients.

Gelato in Rome
Pumpkin seed and buckwheat-myrtle gelato at Gori.

Gori: I first read about this place last year on Tavole Romane, but I didn’t visit until recently. I will never forgive myself for waiting so long. The gelato is made in the all-natural style of Claudio Torcè (the Goris are part of a small but growing number of his disciples), the flavors are clean and creative, and the service is patient and enthusiastic. Gori is in northern Rome, but is very easy to get to from Termini on the 84 or 90 buses. Piazza Menenio Agrippa 8b/8c; website.

Gelato in Rome
Strawberry and melon gelato at Fior di Luna.

Fior di Luna: This top-notch gelateria in Trastevere serves exceptional and intense fruit flavors, many made with ingredients cultivated in Lazio. The creamy flavors employ local organic milk and the chocolate comes from fair trade sources. Via della Lungaretta 96; website; closed Monday.

Gelato in Rome
Chocolate and cherry swirl gelato at Neve di Latte.

Neve di Latte: In the short time it has been open, Neve di Latte has already gotten tons of press from Italian food blogs (Pasto Nudo, Senza Panna, and Scatti di Gusto, to name a few). It is the newest project of gelataio Ermanno di Pomponio, who has been in the business for decades and closed the much-loved Il Mio Gelato Naturale in November. The ingredients are maniacally sourced (the milk comes from a biodynamic producer in Germany, the eggs are from Paolo Parisi, the chocolate is Amedei) and di Pomponio’s gelato is creamy and intense, with a consistency verging on lightness. Via Luigi Poletti 6; closed Tuesday.

Gelato in Rome
Panacea and coconut gelato at Fatamorgana.

Gelateria Fatamorgana: Creative, whimsical flavors abound at gelataia Maria Agnese Spagnuolo’s two locations. Flavors feature surprising combos like pear and gorgonzola, chocolate and tobacco, black rice and rose petals. Via di Lago Lesina 9/11; Via Bettolo 7; website.

Gelato in Rome
Black sesame and Philadelphia-walnut gelato at Il Gelato di Claudio Torce’.

Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè: Last but not least, one of the pioneers of the natural gelato movement provides gelato to seven outposts throughout Rome and Ostia. His natural approach to gelato production has influenced the styles of Fatamorgana, Gori, and others. Viale dell’Aeronautica, 105; Viale Aventino, 59; Piazza Monte d’Oro, 91-92; Via Stoccolma, 7; Viale Prassilla, 39 (Casal Palocco); Viale delle Repubbliche Marinare, 101 (Ostia); Centro Commerciale Roma Est (Lunghezza); website.

2017-02-17T15:26:29+00:00 July 25th, 2011|Categories: Food & Wine, Gastronomic Traditions, Gelato, Rome & Lazio, Sweets & Dessert|17 Comments


  1. Justine July 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Sorry glad you wrote this post, the last time I was in Rome, I tried a gelateria (erased the name from memory because it didn’t stand out) mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide and was disappointed by the artificial flavor. They looked artisan on the outside but you could taste the difference. Very happy you scouted the authentic gelaterias, I will definitely support them my next trip down, thanks Katie!

  2. Tuula July 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Used to go to Fior di Luna all the time, so fresh – tried to be adventurous, but couldn’t get enough of their nocciola, incredible. Thanks for adding to this list, very helpful!

  3. Jordan July 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Have you tried Golitti in Testaccio? It’s an unassuming local bar so you might not notice the gelato, but around here people love it. I had a huge conversation with the owner about the evils of dextrose once, and I see their fruit get shipped in regularly. They also do their cream in the big stainless steel container behind the bar rather than one of the machines with the tubes (they just use panna from centrale di latte roma or whatever it’s called). Zabaione is fantastic and kept at a different temperature than the rest, and otherwise I go for their cioccolato fondente. Granitas are also wonderful. And getting gelato outside at their tables means it’s served on a silver tray in the old style cups with a glass of water alongside it. Apparently they’re part of the same extended family as giolitti in the center, but otherwise have no association.

  4. Jordan July 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Ack, Giolitti, I mean.

  5. Angie July 26, 2011 at 2:18 am - Reply

    Can I just say that I am fully behind this obsession of yours? I mean, really. YUM. Gori and Fatamorgana look amazing. I’ve been on a gelato and kick myself in NY and I haven’t found anything that looks as good as this. Just a lot of really ridiculously overpriced options…

  6. tavoleromane July 27, 2011 at 1:11 am - Reply

    Happy you enjoyed Gori and thank you for the kind mention!
    I’m surprised you haven’t included in this list Vice and Grom, can I ask you if there is any specific reason?
    I would also add Gelateria del Teatro. Expensive but one of the more “natural” in historic center.

  7. Austen August 7, 2011 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Finding the Gelateria of your choice can be a wonderful way to spend your idle hours. Comes a close second to the best coffee spot. And the search takes you into some wonderful little streets and areas you might otherwise miss. Shall I start a Tour company totally based on these criteria? Much more rewarding to me than “Angels and Demons” tours.

  8. justafoodie August 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    I’ve seen so many of your posts on Foodspotting that I feel as if we’re old friends. I’m wondering if you cna help me out a bit. I found a gelateria on Via Marmorata on my last visit to Rome in May and cannot find a name for it after Googling for quite some time. It’s somewhere between Volpetti’s and the Laundromat a few blocks north. The thing that stands out for me was that they offered novelties filled with gelato, such as a kiwi filled with kiwi gelato, walnut shells filled with walnut flavored gelato, oranges, bananas, etc. Since you happen to be in Rome and know the Testaccio area, I thought perhaps you might know the name.

    Molto Grazie!

    P.S. I’m going to use your guide for my next gelato tasting in Rome. See you on Foodspotting.

  9. Annette Bonus August 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    I’ll be staying in this neighborhood this Feb thru March, and I too would like to know about this gelateria as well. Thanks.

  10. Katie August 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    I am the worst blogger ever. I really have to get better about replying to comments in a timely manner. Very sorry people!

    @Justine developing a palate is the first step! hope that next trip is real soon!

    @Tuula their nocciola is pretty badass. i always go for peanut flavor when they have it. with chocolate, obviously. killer combo:)

    @Jordan i walk past it all the time but have never actually been there if memory serves. ok ill give it a try next week or the week after when im back in rome. thanks for the heads up!! you need to write a guest post on testaccio!!!

    @Angie thanks for your unwavering support;) in nyc i like il laboratorio del gelato alright, but i must say ice cream is never on the top of my list when i come to the city so im not really sure what is great. maybe ill have to do some research in october!!

    @Tavole Romane thank you guys for pointing me in the right direction! Grom isn’t on there because i feel very strongly about not promoting these well marketed chains. id rather give love to Fior di Luna, which uses organic milk from Lazio, rather than Grom, which uses fine milk, but with a large carbon footprint. Vice isnt on there because i havent seen the ingredients list. ditto for gelateria del teatro. for the record, i love them both.

    @Austen do it!!!

    @justafoodie hi there! i know which spot you are talking about. they sell the calabrian specialty you describe–fruit filled with gelato of its own flavor…if i can dig up the name ill drop you a line! oh and while youre in rome, might i suggest my new foodspotting guide: http://www.foodspotting.com/guides/2972-rome-for-foodies

    @Annette just a foodie described its location perfectly. my favorite place (pretty) close by is il gelato di claudio torce on viale aventino. Jordan mentions a place above you might want to check out. enjoy!

  11. […] the banana gelato- if it is light brown, you’re good to go OR read up on artisan icecream by ParlaFood) and the texture looked smooth and creamy. After taking note of which icecreams were scooped the […]

  12. […] I’ve ordered gelato in every city I’ve ever visited in Italy, and each gelateria varies in taste, creaminess and texture. There are TONS of gelaterias all over Italy, however the key to choosing the right gelateria is to look at the COLOR of the gelato. If the gelateria is genuinely made with fresh ingredients, you will be able to recognize it immediately when you look through their glass case- ex: BANANA, should be a light shade of brown… if it is any other color, slowly back away and stalk the next glass case you see- with patience, you will find authenticity. […]

  13. […] di Latte, which opened in July, is one of the newest additions to Rome’s natural gelato scene. I constantly find excuses to make the 3-mile trip from my apartment to the gelateria, which is […]

  14. […] Piazza Menenio Agrippa, 8, Roma “I first read about this place last year on Tavole Romane, but I didn’t visit until recently. I will never forgive myself for waiting so long. The gelato is made in the all-natural style of Claudio Torcè (the Goris are part of a small but growing number of his disciples), the flavors are clean and creative, and the service is patient and enthusiastic. Gori is in northern Rome, but is very easy to get to from Termini on the 84 or 90 buses.” From http://www.parlafoods.com […]

  15. […] dream of foggy London town. Here is my updated Guide to eating gelato in Rome. And still valid are this old post on natural gelato and this one for judging gelato in 7 easy steps. […]

  16. Priya April 12, 2016 at 6:51 am - Reply

    Do we get eggless ice creams in Rome?

    • Katie Parla April 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm - Reply

      yes! all gelato places provide a list of their ingredients upon request but the place that is most transparent about allergens is fatamorgana which has a system of graphics on each card

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