A Taste of Tradition: Fassi Gelateria

Programs for this blog post

Italian Language & Culture

Authored By:

Petie Schill

As we waltzed through the doors of Fassi at 10am, we weren’t sure what to expect. The famous gelateria, located in the heart of Rome, has a reputation for being a go-to place for those seeking an authentic Italian gelato experience. Would the gelato be unforgettable, or would it be a tourist trap?

We started out our visit by learning about the shop’s fascinating history. Established in 1880, the gelateria is the oldest of its kind in Italy. Fassi has been passed down through generations and has preserved traditional techniques and recipes. The décor, with its vintage Italian tiles and antique ice cream churns, transported us back in time as our guide explained the origins of the gelato.

Original gelato-making equipment and documents.

Next, we were led into the back to see the magic of how Fassi makes its gelato today. We observed closely as a gelato expert demonstrated the process of making fresh banana gelato. 

First, peel the bananas.

Gelato maker peeling the bananas.

Next, blend the bananas with milk and the sugar mixture.

Blending the ingredients together.

Then pour the mixture into the gelato machine. 

Pouring the mixture into the gelato machine.

Wait just a few minutes and violà! Fresh banana gelato just waiting to be eaten.

Fresh banana gelato.

Not all of Fassi’s gelatos are made so quickly. The popular rice flavor takes several hours to prepare, partly because it uses cream that’s produced right there in the gelato room.

After learning about the history and the gelato-making process, we all headed out to the counter to order our own three-flavor cup. Dozens of vibrant flavors awaited, like the classic pistachio, rich milk chocolate, custardy zabaione, and tangy mango. 

Looking at the gelato flavors.

Once we narrowed our choices down to three flavors, we were able to enjoy our authentic gelato. 

Students with their gelato.

Lastly, we all got to try Fassi’s speciality treat: a small cube of Italian semifreddo dipped in chocolate. It was airy, creamy, and refreshing all at once!

Students with Fassi's specialty treat.

As our gelato journey concluded, we reflected on the value of preserving time-honored recipes and culinary traditions. The gelateria had left a mark not only on our taste buds but also in our hearts.

Group of students in front of the gelato.