The Via Ostiense and decaying industrial zones stretch south from Rome's center to the Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura—the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls. The hulking pilgrimage site dedicated to the Apostle who reputedly was beheaded there in the first century sits at the end of a sprawling lawn littered with the ruins of (pagan) tombs and studded with benches and modern sculpture. Just a few hundred meters away, Via Chiabrera, in the aptly titled San Paolo district, attracts pilgrims of another sort: those seeking sustenance rather than penance.
At number 40, Danielgelo serves artisanal gelato from cases divided by genre. On the left, nine classic Roman milk-based flavors like pistachio, hazelnut, and stracciatella (chocolate chip); on the right, nine dairy-free fruit flavors. An uva fragola (Concord grape) and anguria (watermelon) combo makes a fine homage to late summer in Rome. An entire wall of the shop is dominated by freezer cases displaying gelato cakes, sorbets, and tartufi.
Across the street at number 13/15, Il Fornaio Leandro is a one-stop shop for baked goods. Thin and crispy pizza by the slice is topped with seasonal toppings like fiori di zucca (zucchini flowers) and funghi (mushrooms). Ricotta cakes, crostate, and other typical Roman baked items are sold by weight. And they sell lottery tickets to boot. Small children fill in bubbles for the pick-six as their grandmothers gossip and swap recipes while they queue for loaves of bread.