Well… Italy may be all about wheat, but they actually have embraced Celiac Disease, and understand its severity entirely! It was a complete shock to me. Although I had read countless articles on Celiac Disease and gluten-free places in Italy, I never could have imagined it to be this safe!
Restaurants I visited had separate kitchens, with separate cutlery for those who ate gluten-free, and those who ordered from the regular menu. I also usually expect to find just a few salads that are gluten-free, with a limited number of menu options to actually enjoy. However, at many of the restaurants, I sat reading through the menu for 30-45 minutes, that’s how many options they could provide for people like myself! Have I got you yet? Ready to plan your trip to Italy? Well, I am ready to go back – so if your answer is no, I’ll take your place!
I began my travels in Sorrento, and to my surprise, there were TONS of gluten-free options at our hotel breakfast! Hotel Plaza was absolutely AMAZING to me! They showed me all of the gluten-free foods that I could relish, and even introduced me to a waiter who could provide me gluten-free bread. This gave me the opportunity to make sandwiches to bring with during the day! The dinners were slightly more difficult, but once I found one restaurant, I stuck to it! Sorrento Ristorante Pizzeria L’Abate was absolutely amazing! I met with the owner during the day to explain my allergy, and he had no problem understanding. He showed me fish, meats and salads that I could choose from. Throughout my visit in Sorrento, I found MANY pharmacies that actually had entire walls of shelves filled with gluten free treats and snacks. Clearly labeled, and one of my (now) favourite brands, Schar! Sorrento was breathtaking! I literally fell in love with the city the moment I stepped into it! http://www.labatesorrento.it/en
Next stop, Rome! I thought I was in Celiac heaven in Sorrento’s hotel, but then came Hotel Art (by the Spanish Steps), and they had even more! Yogurts, rice crackers, bread and more (all packaged) with the famous Sans Gluten logo! I was definitely in my element! Mama Eat was right up my alley for all things lunch and dinner! Recognized by the Italian Celiac Association, with two separate kitchens, I was one happy customer! With options like pasta, meats, sandwiches, pizzas, crepes, sweets, you name it, it could be prepared entirely gluten-free with no possible chance of cross-contamination! After one visit, I just HAD to come back every night I stayed in Rome. I couldn’t get enough of this fabulous food and incredibly knowledgeable staff! http://www.mamaeat.com/english/ Throughout Rome I made several stops to excellent gluten-free gelato and popsicle stands, because who visits Italy without a cool, incredible refresher? Not me! That’s forsure!
Ready for some more adventure? Florence, here I come! Florence was another beautiful stop, with TONS of amazing gluten-free options! I stayed at a very cute hotel, called Strozzi Palace Hotel, which was even more fantastic! At breakfast, the hotel provided tons of gluten-free options, and they always gave me a takeaway bag for the day! The bag was jam-packed with bags of gluten-free bread, cookies, and anything I could think of. What an incredible treat! Another restaurant recognized by the Italian Celiac Association, Ciro & Sons Firenze was absolutely to die for! With an abundance of gluten-free options, I was in Celiac Heaven again… Tasting foods like pizza, pasta, gnocchi (for the first time EVER), I never could have imagined that in Italy of all places, I would feel so at home! Ciro & Sons even brought me starter bread (which of course I never get to enjoy), which made me so incredibly happy and satisfied. If you know me by now, you know that after visiting once, I just couldn’t get enough! 3 visits in 3 nights, trying 3 different amazing looking meals – thank YOU Ciro & Sons! http://www.ciroandsons.com
Last (but not least), Venice was the next stop on the list! What a beautiful city on the water! I did not select the option to get my meals through the hotel, however, it was absolutely a fabulous hotel, that was extremely knowledgeable about gluten-free options, and which direction to point me in. The hotel was called Royal San Marco Hotel, which I highly recommend and definitely can accommodate gluten-free (it just wasn’t included in the cost of the hotel). First stop here was Grom! A dedicated gluten-free ice cream & gelato place that I had read rave reviews about, and was craving. YUP! You guessed it, visited Grom every single day that I was in Venice. http://www.grombakery.com/bakery.php I even debated skipping dinner and eating another fabulous Grom ice cream, but that would mean I couldn’t try a new place for dinner! Dinner was at a restaurant called Osteria La Lanterna da Gas. They brought me the foods I could try, and even provided me with all ingredients to check (which I always do!) I had gluten-free lasagna – my first lasagna in Italy and boy was I in paradise! https://www.facebook.com/lanternadagas
I am still dreaming of Italy – and would never have guessed how amazing this country filled with gluten would be to me! I am SO ready to go back… So anyone, need a Celiac travel buddy? I am so down!
Love to all xo,
Welcome to MCL World
I am currently in my 20's, working a full-time job in downtown Toronto, and enjoying the foods I have always dreamed of. I absolutely love to travel, and I am always excited to explore new gluten-free restaurants that I can feel comfortable at in a new city or country!