Among the most accessible of Roman delicacies such as pizza or espresso, gelato is a renowned favorite, not just for its refreshing powers in the summer heat, but also for its flavor and smooth, creamy texture. From Trastevere to Monti to the Vatican City, there is almost a guarantee to be at least one gelateria on each piazza.
The crossroads for travelers then becomes one of which path leads to glacé heaven and which leads to a folly tourist trap. Food and travel blogger Eleonora Baldwin agrees, revealing the most obvious giveaway (apart from sweaty sightseers donning Indiana-Jones-meets-Hawaiian-safari attire) for gimmicky gelato as having an overly puffed and unnaturally technicolored presence. “When it’s that big and puffy, it’s not authentic, fresh gelato. For all you know it could be recycled from a week or so ago.”
With the euro trumping the U.S. dollar, the last thing any foodie wants to do is drop five bad boys on aesthetically deceiving, subpar gelato.
Luckily, Gelateria del Teatro is sure to garner a standing ovation for not only its authenticity and diverse flavor combinations but also for its quality. In fact, passersby can palpably visualize the quality through the window as they watch employees craft the flavors by hand with the freshest ingredients.
After a sweltering tour through the Vatican Museum, my professor treated us few brave souls who dared to walk from the Vatican to our classroom by the Pantheon to Gelateria del Teatro, known for some of the best gelato in Rome.
As soon as I saw it nestled on Via del Coronari among handmade leather goods shops and artisan restaurants, I believed them. Furthermore, the line was almost out the door and almost every customer was engaged in an animated and entirely Italian conversation. “This,” said my professor, grinning from ear to ear, gesturing at the grand parade of flavors, “is where it’s at. This is where the locals go.”
My mouth began to water at the sight of flavors such as Sicilian pistachio, sage and raspberry, and ricotta with cherry and amaretto. There were so many options it was hard to narrow it down to just the two we were allotted. My selection of ricotta with almond and honey and lavender with white peach brought me straight to sorbet Shangri-La.
With two locations at Via del Coronari and Lungotevere del Vallati, your ticket to gourmet gelato is upgraded to first class. Superb service and seasonal flavors are guaranteed to make dessert a definite decision. I know for certain another trip will be due to try the chocolate infused with Nero d’Avola wine.