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We really embraced the phrase “when in Rome” during our recent trip and went a little overboard with trying to taste and see as much as we possibly could in 2.5 days. Although we loved our delicious food tour, we really wanted to try something a little bit more hands-on as well.

Turns out, learning to make gelato and pizza in Rome was just as much fun as eating it. And going home with a few new, easy recipes really is the perfect souvenir for minimalist travelers like us!

pizza gelato in rome cooking

Intro to InRome Cooking

It didn’t take long for our search for cooking lessons to lead us to the wonderful people at InRome Cooking. They had fantastic reviews and great options for classes – including a new one that takes place on the Pope’s Farm! For ours, we met at a gorgeous little apartment downtown where we got to hang out while we cooked and ate our meal.

We booked our class with ease and were impressed by their seemingly seamless process. Everyone was so friendly – including our fellow cooks in training. We especially enjoyed Chef Marco who did a great job at making the class fun and educational while making sure our meal turned out delicious!

He even had some yummy snacks and Prosecco (another of my favorites) waiting for us when we arrived.

pizza gelato in rome cooking

Why Make Gelato & Pizza in Rome?

First of all, why not? I mean, these are some of the most delicious foods you can eat. But, in case you didn’t know, they also are staples for Italians … and tourists visiting Italy. However, the kind of pizza and gelato you may be used to isn’t what we cooked. Only the freshest ingredients and simplest methods were to be used during our class. Another reason we chose this option!

pizza gelato in rome cooking

We learned all about some of the traditional types of pizzas Italians eat – including Marinara (tomato sauce only) and Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil). And we also were surprised to find out the freshest gelato isn’t the really fluffy ones you see in shops. It is actually a bit denser.

pizza gelato in rome cooking

Chefs for a Night in Rome

Learning to Make Gelato

Since it had to freeze, we started our cooking lesson with the gelato. After mixing together eggs, sugar, and cream (yep, that’s it!), we had the option of choosing our preferred flavoring. As self-proclaimed Nutella addicts, we didn’t hesitate to go for the jar, but vanilla and coffee were also options. Then into the super freezer our creamy gelato went as Chef Marco began explaining what we’d need for the pizza.

Making Classic Pizza in Rome

With more simple ingredients, (just a flour mix, water, salt, olive oil and yeast), Chef Marco made a big batch of pizza dough we all took turns kneading. As we all laughed with each other about our varying takes on this task, Marco explained why some pizzas make you feel more bloated than others. Apparently, they haven’t let the yeast sit long enough and it continues to expand in your belly!

pizza gelato in rome cooking

Needless to say, this dough would not be the one we were eating due to the yeast needing more time to sit. So, Marco gave us each our own pre-made pizza dough ball to roll out and shape – another laughable task! During this, we also learned how to make a traditional sauce – always with canned tomatoes, so not to be too watery. (Seriously, we learned so many great cooking tips!)

Then we chose our toppings – not too many to preserve the simplistic nature of Italian pizza – and into the oven they went.

pizza gelato in rome cooking

A Home-Made Italian Meal to Remember

Once all the cooking was finished, we cleaned up and sat down for dinner. Although Italian wine is wonderful, we couldn’t resist opting for beer when it was offered. Pizza and beer is just too good of a combo! And that was some dang good pizza!

pizza gelato in rome cooking

We devoured it as we shared stories of our various lives (one woman was there on a business trip all the way from Australia). It was also lovely to learn more about Marco and his family, who came from Napoli – where we had visited prior to Rome.

The pizza was so filling and the conversation so enjoyable, we almost forgot about the gelato … almost. Thankfully, Marco was on top of it and brought it out to us in our lovely little chilled bowls.

pizza gelato in rome cooking

I can say with certainty that it was unlike anything I had ever had, since even the most health-conscious shops don’t use ingredients this simple. While our Nutella-flavored gelato was lovely, I really enjoyed the coffee one there happened to be extra of. They were both so creamy and just a divine way to end our meal!

It was really impressive to be able to make such a fantastic meal with such simple, easy-to-find, and inexpensive ingredients! There will definitely be some pizza and gelato nights in our future. What a great excuse to reminisce on our time in fabulous Rome!

pizza gelato in rome cooking

Special thanks to InRome Cooking for providing us with a discounted rate for this experience. As always, all opinions are our own.

Read more about our Europe travels here. And to learn how we traveled in Europe for five months on a budget by house sitting, read this guide.

Learning to Make Gelato & Pizza in Rome: The Perfect Souvenir