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Gluten-free in Italy

I know others have posted on the topic, but I confess to having been a bit skeptical about the assurances others have given before. To understand my skepticism, you must know that my family member who has Celiac is EXTREMELY sensitive to the smallest amount of cross contamination. We rarely eat out in the States for this reason. I stand corrected- believe it - Italian restaurants really do understand gluten-free.

We have been very pleased with the Italian understanding of safely preparing gluten-free meals. While mostly we try to stick to places who advertise a complete gluten-free menu, we have also had the occasion of making the request at a traditional restaurant. The staff has let us know what they could safely prepare.

A few recommendations: Il Ristorante Nettuno near Paestum
In Roma: Voglia di Pizza near Campo di Fiori
Mama Eat in Trastevere
And our favorite, Soffitta Renovatio near the Vatican

We only wish we could get this amazing gluten-free pizza in the States!

Posted by
703 posts

yes, italy is really OK if you are looking for GF. ( we found the same understanding as you mention)
we are in france at the moment ( we were in italy , some weeks ago) and GF, in restaurants, that we look at each night, is almost non existent ( particularly compared to italy) as we travel across from east to west ( burgundy, loire and now Brittany) also the supermarkets here have far less GF to choose from.

Posted by
219 posts

Yes, we had a similar experience in Paris in 2015. The ONE time we ate out at partially (instead of wholly) gluten-free place, my daughter got sick. When we stuck to gluten-free dedicated restaurants in Paris we were fine. I wish the rest of the world would catch up with Italy.

Posted by
11236 posts

I remember at most hotel breakfasts in Italy there were gluten free bread/cracker options that were packaged individually from the manufacturer. So no cross contamination from the kitchen.

Posted by
219 posts

So, the shine came off a bit when we got to Milan. We carefully chose a restaurant that had been recommended by other gluten-free travelers and that had a specific gluten-free menu. The food was more expensive than we had been paying, but for safety we accepted that. However, they clearly did not follow the necessary practices as my family member was sick before we even got back to our hotel room. We were very disappointed as this was towards the end of our trip to Italy and the ill effects last many days.

So, although I would say Italy as a whole does a pretty good job managing the needs of Celiacs (we were also in Venice), they still will screw it up. At least this was the only meal on our 3 week trip to go poorly, although we did not eat out every day.