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La Romana Gelato Is A Refreshing Stop Near The Pantheon

La Romana gelato is one of my favorite ways to beat the Roman heat and if you are near the Pantheon, this gelateria will give you a cool and refreshing boost.

la romana gelato - cocoa hazelnut

Cocoa and Hazelnut Cream Cone

Last summer we were not focused on the need to try some of the best gelaterias in Rome, so we are making up for it this summer. When you are visiting Rome in the blazing hot months, or even the cooler fall months, we are lucky that gelato shops can be found on almost every corner in Rome. The gelato shop, known as a gelateria, can vary in quality, reputation and style so I wanted to review some of the most popular and some of my favorites.

I wouldn’t waste time saving yourself for “The Best” gelato in Rome because you might miss out on something amazing that influencers aren’t aware of. It is much more important to avoid some of the more obvious signs of lower quality and try as many gelaterias that you can find. Gelato is amazing and shouldn’t be avoided in an attempt to only find what others consider the best gelato in Rome.

What Is La Romana Gelato?

This Gelateria known as La Romana has been around since 1947 and it can be found all over the world thanks to their global franchising drive. There are a few locations around Rome, more around Italy and in as far away places as Bucharest, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and around Europe. As you will be able to see from the lines that you will inevitably encounter, this gelateria is popular with tourists and locals alike.

Their artisan gelato started in Rimini, Italy in the heart of Emilia Romagna and there still remains both their corporate headquarters and a gelateria right on Piazza Ferrari where everything started. This is where La Romana first opened with a gelateria that was named after the founder’s daughter. The passion and skills of Vito Zucchi, who stamped his mark on what now has become one of Italy’s most unique gelateria. His sons, Ivano and Massimiliano, continue to offer their traditional flavors following the original recipes, just like in the past.

In addition to their delicious gelato and crostata, they offer an amazing looking selection of cakes and pastries. I get a chuckle from the sign above the refrigerator that read: “A party without a cake is only a meeting!”. I loved that.

la romana gelato - cool sign

Cool Sign!

Where Is La Romana Gelato In Rome?

La Romana has more than 70 locations worldwide and luckily for us there are six locations here in Rome. The gelateria we went to is in the San Giovanni area on Via Magna Grecia, 47a, which is near the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano and the new Appian Way. The other five convenient locations can be found at:

  • Near Porta Pia on via Venti Settembre, 60
  • Near Eataly The Egyptian Pyramid In Rome On via Ostiense, 48
  • Over the Tiber from Piazza del Popolo on via Cola Di Rienzo, 2
  • Close to EUR Lake Rome on the corner of viale Europa, 121 and via Beethoven, 67
  • The most popular one near the Pantheon and Piazza Navona on Piazza Sant’Andrea della Valle, 1

How Is Gelato Made In Italy?

There are differences in the ingredients used in Gelato and Ice Cream. For example, in the US, more cream is used and in Italy milk is used to reach a lower fat content. The gelato in Italy also uses more sugar, which is surprising to me because generally things are much sweeter in the US than in Italy. Also, in the US, egg whites can be included, but aren’t part of a typical Italian gelato recipe.

To put some real numbers to it, gelato typically contains 4-8% fat as compared to the 14-16% found in ice cream in the US. Gelato also contains less air than most ice cream and because of this, it is more dense and richer in flavor. Scoop for scoop, you get more gelato and less air than you would when you get ice cream.

la romana gelato - lemon gelato

Lemon Gelato In A Cup

Why Does Gelato Not Freeze?

Gelato is not made to be completely frozen because it usually isn’t stored, but eaten immediately after ordering it. It CAN freeze, which I can personally attest to after having ordered some gelato to be delivered, but then putting some in the freezer to store overnight. It froze solid, which is different from how it is served in a gelateria. It is just below freezing, very soft and doesn’t last long.

What’s In Gelato Ice Cream?

Gelato is similar to the many types of ice cream across Europe and the US, but it is unique in its own ways. Gelato contains less air, is creamier, sweeter and comes with an amazing range of flavors, like fresh fruit, nuts like Pistachio and many different types of chocolate. There are some gelaterias that go even further than tradition usually allows, but my tastes for delicious gelato lean more traditional.

la romana gelato - sizes and prices

Sizes & Prices

How Much Does Gelato Cost In Rome Italy?

Gelato is very affordable, especially when you are walking around the city experiencing the oppressive Roman heat and La Romana is no exception. I have included a picture of their options and prices, but to summarize, you can get a small cone for €3 up to a maxi cone for only €5. Their cups are the same price, but their waffle cones (Cialda Arrotolato) are my favorite.

It is common to choose multiple flavors for a single cone or cup and a popular addition is to add whipped cream (panna) on top. I usually skip the panna, but it is a popular addition for many folks.

How To Spot Good Gelato In Rome?

When you are looking for gelato, you should definitely try any place that looks good, but are there some signs of lower quality gelaterias that you should skip? Yes, these are a couple of pointers that you should pay attention to:

  • Color – the super bright and glowing colors are unnatural and should be avoided. Dull colors are more authentic, like banana gelato that isn’t bright yellow and pistachio flavored that is a very dull gray/green color. These are signs of quality.

  • Container – plastic bins are a dead giveaway that the quality is low. Only stainless steel bins should be used and La Romana had lids on their bins, which is even better. In addition, the gelato should NOT be overflowing the container. This is a sure sign that too much air has been whipped into the gelato and is lower in quality.

  • Taste – Most importantly, you can usually ask for a small taste to make sure you are choosing something you will enjoy. I heard about a gelateria that uses some strange flavors, like Cacio e Pepe gelato, but doesn’t allow for a taste. I would skip a place like this. 

la romana gelato - around rome

All Around Rome

Is La Romana Gelato The Best In Rome?

When we went to La Romana recently, I was glad we chose the San Giovanni location which is generally less touristy because we were able to easily walk in with no line and very little stress. Our first impression was that the service was really fantastic when we were trying to order.

Second, I saw the signs for the various flavors, but it wasn’t as obvious if they had the standard flavors. I ordered a cone of their cocoa hazelnut cream (Crema di nocciola al cacao) and I really enjoyed their offering.

Lastly, I saw the crepes, cakes and other treats that also looked great, but they were not part of our plans for the day. I really liked the gelato and I would recommend it, if you are in the neighborhood, but I wouldn’t go too far out of the way to find them because to be honest, it was delicious, but it didn’t rock my world.

This is the beauty of gelato in Rome. It is around every corner with a high level of quality, so there isn’t a need to travel too far out of your way for delicious gelato, but if you are near one of their Rome locations, you should stop in.

la romana gelato - cakes and more

Cakes and More!

More Delicious Italian Food And Drinks To Consider

If you enjoyed this review of La Romana gelato and you want to learn about more delicious Italian foods and drinks, here are some additional posts that you might find interesting:

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