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Italian summer traditions: what is grattachecca and where to get it

Okay, so we’ve got Italian gelato, and if you’re in the know there is also the granita which is a flavoured ice drink.
And then there’s grattachecca.
It’s also a flavoured ice drink but from a slightly different tradition.
The name ‘checca’ comes from the Roman tradition of the drink, and the ‘gratta’ part means to grate.

And if you’re living out a hot summer in Italy at the moment, you might be on the lookout for one of these.
The traditional method of making granita is that a water and syrup or juice mix is first made up and then set to freeze.

The grattachecca on the other hand is grated ice to a consistency like snow, to which syrup is then added.
It’s considered one of Rome’s old summer traditions and the oldest dates back sometime to the 19th century.
While the drink itself is famous, it’s Rome various kiosks that have created the fame.
Perhaps the most reknowned of these is “La Fonte d’Oro” on the Lungotevere Sanzio.

It’s been open since 1913 and the goodness of its grattachecche gets a little shine from its elderly status among Rome’s kiosks.
A few minutes from La Fonte d’Oro is “Sòra Mirella” open since 1915.
The last among Rome’s old kiosks is the Sòra Maria, open in via Trionfale since 1933.
Check them all out both for their grattachecche and their historic atmosphere.

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