Rome with a food allergy

I've developed a soy allergy in the past year. I always carry benadryl and I'm seeing my doctor about getting an epi pen before my trip. I'm also planning on having an allergy card printed up in Italian so that I can check with servers/chefs when I'm not cooking my own meals and wearing a medical alert bracelet. Does anyone have any advice for eating in Rome when you have a food allergy, soy or otherwise? Thanks in advance!

Posted by Sarah
Annapolis, MD, USA
19 posts

Also, forgot to ask, is it very common to cook in vegetable (soybean) oil in Italy?

Posted by shirley
Toronto, Canada
341 posts

I went to Rome with a friend who is allergic to gluten and garlic - which cuts out a lot of food in Italy. We had no problems. You are doing the right thing by taking a card with you so you know people are aware of your allergy. My friend told the servers at the earliest possible opportunity about her allergies. Aside from her allergies, she is very flexible about what she eats which made it much easier. If there was only one thing on the menu she could eat, she would pick that without hesitation. I think if you go with a positive attitude, explain nicely and with a smile about your allergies, you shouldn't have a problem. We also called ahead for reservations at times and I would mention the allergy when we booked. but I do speak a bit of Italian so would do it in italian. Also, I don't think you will find too many soy based products in the restaurants if you eat traditional food.

Posted by Denise
San Antonio, TX
111 posts

I am allergic to raw tomatoes and do not speak Italian. I did learn the words for raw tomatoes. The wait staff were very good at recognizing the issue & took care of me. At home in the U.S. I have to be a lot more diligent to verify the waiter didn't forget my request for no tomatoes.