Ice cream makers are considered craftsmen in Rome; they should sell hand-made, non-industrial products, but be careful! A good benchmark to who’s working exclusively with fresh ingredients and who’s working with “semi-lavorati” (part-processed) ingredients is how many flavours are in the display. A real artisan can make 30 flavours maximum in high season, when every fruit is available to him/her.
When choosing your gelato you can usually have 3 flavours, even in a small cone/tub. However, make sure you are given equal portions of each, as some have higher profit margins; a good gelataio knows this and will always ask you for all 3 flavours at the same time.
Pasticceria (cake shops) don’t get the attention they deserve from tourists and you are missing out! You can always buy yourself a tray of dolce (mini cakes sold by the kg) and take them back to your hotel room. Else some cake shops have bars and table service but seek out a focus on cake not coffee. Neapolitans and Sicilians enjoy cake fame in Italy so look for “Specializzato in dolce… Napolitano / Siciliano” in shop signage. Perhaps the most famous of Italian sweets is Tiramisu; have a look at our recipe films to see how it’s made.
Via Leonina, 18/20 (Monti)
Viale dei Bastioni di Michelangelo, 5 (Vatican)
Via di San Simone, 70 (Campo de’fiori)
Via albalonga, 7 (San. Giovanni)
An ice cream cone starts at 2 Euro; you pay more for bigger portions and/or crispy special cones. Ice cream or cakes by the kilo (2.2 Lbs) start with ½ Kg tubs/trays and cost 14-20 Euro a Kg, depending on the fame of the cake maker and the location of the shop. A sit-down cake will set you back 5-10 Euro, the key factor being location. In a big name piazza, you are paying more for where you are than what you are served.