There are of course many excellent gelatarias in the Centro Storico. Here are a few traditional ones I’ve been to. See as well my post on a couple of more modern places in Sallustiano that are also really good. You’ll find them all on my map marked by a little ice cream cone (key top left).
Giolitti (Advanced A), 40 Via degli Uffici del Vicario, www.giolitti.it
Since 1900, one of the oldest and biggest gelato shops in Rome. There will probably be a queue but it moves quickly.
For me it’s all about the sundaes. Here we have the Coppa Giolitti; a base of Zabaglione (eggnog with Marsala wine) icecream, topped with Giandutto (chocolate and hazlenut) icecream, smothered in whipped cream and rolled in hazlenut flakes. Oh yeah.
Il Gelato di San Crispino (Intermediate A), 3 Pizza della Madallena
The best ice cream in Rome according to some. I had a tub (they don’t sell cones) of their signature version which was great (A).
They have lots of other unusual flavours like whisky and fig.
Tre Scalini (Intermediate D), 28 Piazza Navona, www.trescalini.it
Although famous and founded in 1815, Tre Scalini is the very epitomy of a tourist trap. If you want to sit outside looking at the goings on in Piazza Navona, the tables at the front with an unobstructed view cost more than the tables in the second row, and they’re not cheap. Even the nice young waiter who greeted thought it was a rip off so I chose to save money and stand inside.
I did try their chocolate Tartufo, hand-rolled ice cream covered in cocoa powder, for which they are famous and quite liked it (B). Unfortunately after that though I had a bit of a row with the manager who flipped out on me when I made a mild complaint about the poor quality of their limoncello and ice cubes (C-), which led her to immediately start screaming anti-American abuse at me (I’m British). So no, I do not recommend coming here!
There are several more places to try out before I decide which is the best so watch this space…