When in Rome the best way to beat the heat is to enjoy a colorful and refreshing grattachecca. Romans know that one of the best remedies against the August heat is a tasty grattachecca. It is a blend of hand shaven ice and fruit syrup. The name derives from the combination of “grattare” to crush and “checca”, a roman dialect word which once was used to identify the big ice block used to keep the food cool before refrigerator was invented. It is a great way to cool down if you are walking all over the city while being hot and humid. While walking the streets of Rome spoil yourself with a grattachecca and soak up the lively Roman atmosphere.
As for gelato ice creams for your grattachecca you and your kids can choose different fruity flavors such as lemon, coconut, watermelon and even passion fruit, and often you will also have a piece or two of the actual fruit thrown in, so this is a great way of staying hydrated during your roman holidays.
Very few stalls in Rome still prepare grattachecca today, following the traditional method, among them the oldest and most famous is the Fonte d’Oro in Trastevere (Piazza Belli), is very convenient when you are done with the Basilica of St. Mary in Trastevere and the popular Trastevere quarter! Not far from there in front of Ponte Cestio is the Sora Mirella (Lungotevere degli Anguillara) which has shaved the ice manually since 1915 and from where you will enjoy the magnificent Tiber Island! There are also Sora Maria (Via Trionfale), La Grattachecca just across the famous Milvio Bridge, and Il Chiosco in the popular Testaccio quarter.
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grattachecca) the history of the grattachecca is said to be dated back to Ancient Roman times by the emperor Quintus Fabius Maximus which would go to mount Terminillo, which is about 100 kilometers from the capital, in the Apennines and brought back ice from there. Quintus Fabius Maximus wanted this ice to be flavored with sweet syrups and sold by the thermopolia, which were ancient kiosks that sold both hot and cold beverages.
When in Rome do not miss la Grattachecca and follow the latest news about grattachecca on Facebook
Ciao from Rome
Since 1997 Nancy Aiello Tours specializes in private family oriented Rome and Vatican tours led by friendly and entertaining official Rome tour guides designed to satisfy the curiosity and attention spans of the whole family visiting Rome.
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