When in Rome: Gelato

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Whether it was stracciatella, coffee, pistachio, strawberry or any other number of flavors, if you went to Rome, you definitely have a favorite type of gelato.

Visiting gelato stands has definitely become a staple of the UD Rome experience. As a high schooler traveling with UD professors during the bygone “Shakespeare in Rome” program, the first major thing we did was go and get gelato at a small shop in Castel Gandolfo.

From that afternoon onwards, I was hooked on the tasty treat and began my journey towards an addiction to my personal favorite flavor, amarena — aka Italian black cherry.

That addiction continued well into my actual Rome semester in the fall of 2019 as I stopped for a scoop whenever possible. I know that for me, and so many other UD students, gelato is connected to many wonderful memories from traveling abroad.

Senior Ale Taliente from the Rome class of spring 2020 spoke to me about how grabbing a scoop of gelato served as a late night community building experience and a reward for surviving classes.

“We finished classes and some of us decided to go into the city and do homework there … then [after dinner] we decided to get gelato,” said Taliente.

“It started raining, so we all stayed in Spagna and we were eating our gelatos in the rain and dancing … so it was a really fun memory.”

Late night gelato stops are certainly a theme among UD students. One of my favorite memories involves stopping at Frigidarium near Piazza Navona at the insistence of my friend who claimed it was the best gelato they ever had before rushing off to the buses to make sure we could get back to campus before public transport shut down for the night.

Many other shops like Frigidarium have become famous within the UD circle.

“The best gelato by far [in Rome] is Old Bridge Creamery… which is outside of the Vatican walls,” Joey Bremer from the fall 2020 Rome class claims. “It’s kind of a hole-in-the-wall place that is pretty popular among UD people I think … It’s kind of a UD place.”

As a fellow lover of Old Bridge, I have to admit that he’s right on the money here.

If anyone out there is skeptical about how formative gelato is to the UD Rome experience, Sammie Ronge from the spring 2021 Rome class proves that even the most doubtful can be persuaded to love Italy’s frozen delicacy.

“I had gone to get gelato a lot of times while I was in Rome and as much as I loved it, I didn’t think it was as great as everyone made it sound,” Ronge said.

“However, when I went to Florence we went to … one gelato shop and it was absolutely life-changing. It was the best gelato I’ve ever had.”

“We ate it over one of the bridges looking over the water … That changed gelato for me and I realized that it was actually really really good.”

Most of us can probably agree with Sammie’s conclusion about gelato. I certainly know that if I ever go back to Rome, I’ll be sure to make a stop at the first gelateria I see.

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