Italian ice cream, known as gelato, is second to none. Nothing could be more refreshing on a hot day, and tourists and Romans alike get through an awful lot of it, even in the winter.
When looking for good gelato, try to find a gelateria that makes their own gelato on the premises. These advertise themselves as offering gelato artiginale—artisinal gelato—although "artisinal" can be an elastic term. Take a look at the gelato and judge it for itself: if it looks artificial, it probably is.
As with cafés, the usual (but not constant) rule is to pay a cashier first, and then take your ticket to the counter to be served. As well as the usual choices of cups and cones, you're also likely to be offered a smear of thick whipped cream, in Italian panna.
Via Uffici del Vicario 40.
Tel. 06 6991243.
One of the grand old men of Rome's gelaterias. It's no longer the best in town, but the quality is high and its status makes it worth a visit. They have a second shop at Via le Oceania, 90.
Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina, 29
Tel. 06 687 6606
This café near the Corso offers some very high-quality gelato, as well as cakes, coffee, and hot chocolate.
Via Panetteria, 42
Tel. 06 679 3924
The gelato at San Crispino has a great reputation, and deservedly so. The flavours are rich and creamy, but the service isn't always friendly and the prices are high—too high, really.