The Must-tick-off Bucket List of Italian Desserts to Try When in Rome

Every Italian region has typical dessert recipes that “belong” to the tradition of their area, but there are desserts that have crossed these borders and have become internationally recognized as some of the best in the world!


This is possibly the most popular dessert among italian specialties. Originally from the northern regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Tiramisù is also one of the easiest desserts to create! Its base is made by blending eggs, mascarpone and sugar, then Savoyard cookies, coffee, cocoa powder added. In Rome, Pompi has been, since its opening in 1960, by far the most recognized Tiramisù place in Rome. There are many branches around the city. But if you feel a little more hands on, you can even learn how to make your own Tiramisù. Rome Cooking Workshops offers a spectacular cooking classes in Rome that include an interactive learning experience on how to make Tiramisù!


Cassata Siciliana 

What first stands out about this dessert is its aesthetic appeal. Its white cream base, made of a round sponge cake, vanilla or chocolate filling, moistened with liqueur and fruit juices, is then coated in sweetened ricotta cheese. Traditional cassata is then adorned with an intricate, usually geometric arrangement of colorful candied fruits. It never seems worth it to cut the cassata into smaller slices, until you have a bite and then all will be good again! Some of the best bakeries making cassata are Don Nino Pasticceria (on Via Dei Pastini), Antica Focacceria San Francesco (on Piazza Della Torretta) and Pasticceria Dagnino (on Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando).


Panna Cotta 

Panna cotta is a delicious dessert originally from a region called Piemonte. Its very simple recipe features sweetened cream thickened with gelatin aromatized with coffee, vanilla, or other flavorings. Usually it is served with wild fruit coulis, chocolate or caramel sauce. Once again, Pompi is the indisputable winner of the Panna cotta challenge. There is just something special about the texture and flavors of their Panna cotta! Ristorante Da Massi (on Via della Scala) and Tonnarello (on Via della Paglia) also make exceptionally succulent Panna cotta.




The Babá or Rum Babá is typical of Campania, particularly from Naples, although it has some Polish roots as well. It is a small yeast cake which has been saturated in syrup made with hard liquor, usually rum. You can sometimes find it filled with whipped cream or pastry cream, and although you will probably get a sugar rush – it will be so worth it! Forno Campo de’ Fiori and Angelino ai Fori are known for their incredible Rum Babá, but it is a rather common dessert among the Italians, so you will find many restaurants with a good Babá on their menu.



Frappe and castagnole

Eggs, sugar, flour, butter and oil to fry it all…and voilá…here we have frappe and castagnole. The only things that differentiate these two is the quantities of each ingredients and the shape in which they are then fried. These two desserts are largely associated with Carneval, so if you’re around at that time of the year, you will see them everywhere! The best places to try these insanely mouthwatering treats are Antico Forno Roscioli (on Via dei Chiavari), Biscottificio Innocenti (on Via della Luce), Cinque Lune (on Corso del Rinascimento) and Cipriani (on Via Carlo Botta).