06.01.2016 - Kyrre Dahl- Follow on Facebook
I have eaten a lot of ice cream in Italy, but still I was impressed of Gelateria La Romana. Not only was the ice cream tasteful, it was also surprisingly cheap(ish) and the place was full of atmosphere.
Strangely you will not find La Romana in the tourist area of the Italian capital. Or, maybe that`s why it is so good. It is however not difficult to find in the Via 20 settempre ( 20. september street ), about 15 minutes from Terminin station on foot. I visited La Romana on a cold desember evening, not typical ice cream weather. Still, the place was packed with people. That says a lot!
I did a mistake when I first ordered ice cream at La Romana, I ordered a normal medium size cup. It was so good that I ended up ordering another one. The cup size was normal, but I just had to eat more of this delicious ice cream. Luckily the prices are reasonable, at 2.50 euros, so I was really happy.
In a medium cup you can choose up to three different flavours, a bargain compared with other ice cream bars in the touristy areas of the city. For 3 euros you can choose 4 flavours in a grande sized cup. There are numerous flavours, but my favourites were banana and pistaccio. Everything I tried tasted great, even the sorbets, which I normally don`t like.
You will not see the ice cream on display at Gelateria La Romana and that is a sign of quality. The ice cream is kept in dark containers and are only opened when someone asks for that flavour. This is typical of good ice cream places in Italy (and around the world), but of course that is no guaranty for great ice cream. The worst kind of ice cream places are those outside with the ice cream in direct sunlight. Do I really have to explain what happens with ice cream in the sun?
Therefore, in quality ice cream bars you choose your flavours from a menu, usually listed on the wall. Note that some flavours are not made every day, and of course at the end of the day. they may run out of some flavours. That is because they want the ice cream to be fresh, and therefore quality places do not save the leftovers and sell it the next day. La Romana clearly makes it`s own ice cream and you can even watch the prosess.
There are huge glass windows into the ice cream factory, this place has nothing to hide! When I visited I did not actually see production of ice cream, but they were baking something. Clearly this place also sells other kind of sweet desserts. And the best part: You can sit down and wnjoy your ice cream!
Why is that interesting? In most places in Italy there are no chairs or tables at an ice cream bar, or you will have to pay dearly for the privellige of sitting down, double the price is not uncommon. In most cases, the ice cream place is just a small booth or in some cases a small boutique, chairs are uncommon. At La Romana there are real chairs and real seats, the only drawback is that it is so popular you probably have to share your table with strangers. But, that`s not really a problem, is it?
There seems to be more than one Gelateria La Romana in Rome. I only visited one, so I am not sure if the others are related or just have the same name. See the google map above for directions to the place I went to: