By Mark Ambrogi
Lucio Romani is bringing an authentic touch of Italy to Carmel with the opening of his gelato stand.
Mamma Mia is attached to his restaurant, Ristorante Roma, 620 Range Line Rd., and the stand faces the Monon Trail. Romani’s restaurant, which opened more than two years ago, is in the Monon Square Shopping Center.
“We make the gelato in the restaurant,” said Romani, a Carmel resident who moved to the U.S. from Italy at age 27 in 1995.
Romani’s friend, Stefano Gangitano, came from Italy to help Romani start the gelato business. Gangitano learned from working in gelateria in Italy several years ago.
“He took a couple of courses to refresh his techniques in Italy,” Romani said. “If someone wants the real gelato made in Italy, this is the place. The equipment is from Italy. The chocolate and caramel are from an Italian company. Everything but the fresh fruits and the milk is from Italy.”
Gangitano has been training Romani in how to make the gelato.
The stand opened June 16. It will be open seven days a week until early October, and hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., or until it is too dark. Romani is also featuring the gelato at the restaurant.
“The response has been great. The customers love it,” Romani said. “The gelato is less fattening than the ice cream because in ice cream, they use a heavy cream, but the gelato uses milk, so it’s less fattening, and it gets creamier than the ice cream. All the fruit-based gelato is water based, no milk, so it is good for those that are lactose intolerant.”
The gelato is available in cups and cones at the stand with different flavors offered each day.