Rome ice cream parlors, pastry shops, cafe', cafes, bars

Gelaterie, Pasticcerie, Caffe'

- Gelaterie - ice cream parlors
- Pasticcerie - pastry shops, confectioner's shops)
- Caffe' - street cafe', cafes, bars

Ice cream parlors - Gelaterie

Most Romans consider Giolitti in Via Uffici del Vicario 40 the best ice cream parlor in town. Surely the place is very popular ("an institution" as we say in Rome), yet other places today appear trendier.
Il Gelato di San Crispino (Via Della Panetteria 54, near the Trevi Fountain, tel. 0670450412 - closed Tuesday) is today considered by most the best gelateria in Rome (some say of Italy). Flavors are perfectly balanced, and the ice cream superlative. It was founded by two brothers who studied in Florence, and who were inspired by Vivoli. Their philosophy is to have a specific preparation for every flavour (some invented by them), with maniacal attention to quality. Their renowned flavours are Pistacchio (pronounced pistakkio), Chocolate with liqueur, and Zabaione made with natural eggs and 20 years old Marsala. Ice creams are served only in cubs, as "cones interfere with the flavour" - the chef says


Giolitti: two signori (gentlemen) stepping
out with their gelato (ice cream).


Others we recommend are Fonte della Salute (the Fountain of Health, in Via Cardinal Marmagi 2, tel. 065897471). Some are enthusiast of the Fiocco di Neve (Snow Flake, in Via del Pantheon 51, no phone). We also recommend the Gelatone, in the Monti quarter (Via dei Serpenti 28, tel. 064820187). Chef Paolo prepares about 100 flavours, including the ones he creates (for ex. "Crema Antica" - Ancient Cream), and offers a 10% discount to Roman Homes customers (you need to show our business card or the rental contract).

Il gelatone

Il gelatone

If you like granite (ice cream slush), and particularly granita di caffe' (coffee ice cream slush), we recommend Cremeria Ottaviani (Via Leone IV 83/85, tel. 0637514774).

Pasticcerie - Confectioner's shops - pastry - sweets

There are many sweet shops in Rome, but few prepare excellent regional desserts. A good one is the Forno del Ghetto (the Ghetto's Baker, in Via del Portico d'Ottavia 20/b, tel. 06687637, closed on Friday after sundown, Saturday and on Jewish holidays. It is a tabby little place, literally a hole-in-the-wall, with women only personnel and no sign outside, preparing at sunset delicious Jewish take-away pastries made of a combination of candied fruit, raisins and marzipan. They also prepare memorable ricotta cakes (with sour cherry jam or chocolate).
Traditional Roman cakes include Mostaccioli, Panpepato and Pangiallo, made with dried fruit, nuts and honey.

Right: The Forno del Ghetto

The Forno del Ghetto

In the same street, just before the Portico (porch) of Ottavia , you will find Dolceroma (Sweet Rome, tel. 066892196), a classical pastry shop, with excellent Sacker Tort, and - surprise - American pies.

Caffe' - cafes - street cafes - bars

Water under is pressed to pass as fast as possible the coffee powder, thus the name espresso (express coffee). It is intensely aromatic, and very strong, and the Italians usually like it very concentrated (it is called "caffe' ristretto", or simply "ristretto"). If you want it more diluted, and hence with coffee filling the small cup up to the edge, ask for "caffe' lungo" (long). If you are American, we recommend that you ask for "Caffe' Americano": the barman will put the normal Italian coffee in a larger cappuccino cup, and dilute it with hot water. If you want some liqueur, then ask for "caffe' corretto" (literally revised coffee). Finally ask for "caffe' macchiato" (lit. stained coffee), if you want an additional splash of milk.
Of course then you know about cappuccino. Perhaps you don't know though that the name originates by its colour, similar to that of the habit of the Capuchin monks. As you know, it looks like a frothy white coffee. In fact, to prepare it with the espresso machine some steam is pumped into some milk, and then a normal espresso coffee is added. Some Italians add some cocoa powder on the surface. 
The cappuccino must not be confused with caffellatte (milk and coffee, in which a generous quantity of hot milk is added to a normal espresso, without steam), and with latte macchiato (milk with a splash of previously prepared, cold coffee).

The most famous cafe' in Rome is the Antico Caffe' Greco (Via dei Condotti 86, tel. 066791700), one of the three most ancient cafes in the world, with a very classical atmosphere, red-velvet chairs and marble tables. It hosted the likes of Byron, Shelley, Keats, Goethe, and Casanova. It is quite expensive, and a coffee or a glass of soda will cost you 5 Euro appr. 6 US$.

The Antico Caffe' Greco

The Antico Caffe' Greco

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