Where do locals have gelato in Rome? Easy, Fata Morgana

As you may imagine, gelato is THE staple of the Italian 'street food' culture both for locals and for tourists and, especially in the summertime, not a day goes by without a crispy cone or a rich cup. Rome is filled with gelaterie and it is super easy to get tricked into thinking you are having a genuine gelato when, in fact, they are serving you flavored ice. Do not despair though!There are several good places in town. My pick for this year is definitely Fata Morgana.

I recently moved back to Rome after spending two years in London and I never got to experience the Eternal city properly when I was younger because I grew up in the Roman Castles area (about an hour from the centre but we were lazy teenagers with no cars) and studied and worked in other cities. Therefore, I now get to explore the city with the enthusiasm of a tourist but the funny thing is that I have a Roman accent which sounds exactly like the one locals speak so people think I know my way around and that kind of trust somehow boosts my will power.

One of the greatest thing about La Fata Morgana is its location: there are two joints, one in Monti and the other one in Trastevere. I live nearby the Colosseum so Monti is walking distance for me (and from the Colosseo subway stop)and there is nothing I like more than 'the journey' towards my food destination of choice, especially when all you see is cuteness. Yes..I said it...I think Monti is cute: lots of tourists but also students, locals who have lived there for generations and artsy people who shop at vintage shops

I know I said that I value the journey a lot but, when it comes to gelato in a 30 degree weather, getting to where you need to go is everything...Sorry. Piazza degli Zingari is our address and it is one of those cute piazza-gathering places that just make you wanna sit there for hours and chat or relax or, in this case, have non-stop gelato.

Fata Morgana translate to Morgana Le Fay and the name comes from its owner, Mrs Maria Agnese Spagnuolo: a middle-aged woman from Taranto, Apulia with an eye for good quality products and, apparently, magic. She started off in her kitchen, cooking up her talents and trying to find different food combinations and a recipe that could become a winning formula. She definitely succeeded: her gelato is gluten free, natural, seasonal and bloody good. There are choices for all sorts of allergies and diet restrictions (lactose, eggs and sugar).

The consistency is so smooth and light that you can easily go for seconds and the thing I like the most is its wide variety of choices: you will find the classics (as a matter of fact Maria's favs are pistachio and chocolate) but they are gonna be side to side with some weird-sounding flavors

I had a medium sized cup (3,50 euro) with: 
The little prince's kiss (Bacio!the classic bacio flavor is made out of cream, chocolate and hazelnut so it looks like Cioccolato...Fata's Bacio is Nocciola based with swirls of homemade hazelnut and cocoa spread), Basil Walnuts and Honey (a great balance of flavours and surprisingly sweet) and Pink Venus (Black Rice and Rose buds).

I think it is very clever to use herbs, spices and different kind of milk or thickening agents to make gelato. Not only it makes for great unusual tastes but it also means that the gelato maker really cares about its work. It is easier to fill gelato with fats and additives but it takes a lot of passion to experiment and use the ingredients' inner organoleptic and nutritional qualities and Morgana does that flawlessly.

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