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Rome Thanksgiving Week 2014 (Gluten Free too)

Meant to do this a long time ago but finally got to it. We spent a week in Rome in November and had a wonderful time. Want to thank all the forum members who provided insights and advice, and of course, our trusty RS guidebook. We started out with a private guide on the first day (Ilaria Ceccarelli, ilariacecc@gmail.com), who took us around the Colosseo, Forum, Palatine Hill, and San Clemente church. In our opinion, this was an excellent way to start our vacation because it set the context for everything else. Ilaria was a great guide, passionate about Rome, and extremely knowledgeable about its history, culture, and people. We highly recommend her if you are thinking of hiring a guide. We mostly like to do our own thing but in this case it certainly paid off to get a guide. Beyond that we walked around various neighborhoods and markets, and ATE some of the best food. More on the food later. The second day we went to the Borghese Gallery, quite impressive. Of note here is that RS does not mention that you can get off at the Spagna Metro and there is a moving walkway that you can use to help with covering about a third to half the distance (the station has 2 entrances quite far apart). For the Vatican we did the Pristine Sistine tour with Walks of Italy (recommended by a Forum member) and it was also very good. Also spent a day in Orvieto, wonderful day trip, except that it was the one day the weather was a bit grayish and rainy. On the last day we toured the Museum of the Roman Forum, which, together with the first day, served as perfect bookends to the trip.
Regarding the food, RS has not covered food allergies much in his show. I have celiac disease, which means I am on a gluten free diet. I knew Italy was ahead of the US in terms of recognition and dealing with this, but was not prepared for the endless feast of outstanding GF food, and the ease of finding it. This included pasta, pizza, breads, desserts, cones for gelatto, etc. I had some places already scoped out from the Gluten Free Travel Site, however the hotel concierge pointed out a few others, and literally there had to be 2-3 restaurants on every street that had a GF menu.
Last, besides walking a lot, we used the Metro to get pretty much everywhere. Very easy to use and convenient.
Hope this is helpful for others. Enjoy your travels!

Posted by
10242 posts

Terrific report! So many ask about gluten-free so I am glad you had good luck.

Posted by
11294 posts

Thanks for your report. I'm glad you found gluten-free even easier to find than I had read about on other sites.

Posted by
11613 posts

Great report, a friend of mine must eat gluten-free and says Italy is the easiest country to find gluten-free options. I have to eat gluten-free now, too, so I'm looking forward to a new adventure in Italian cuisine. Italian chefs and waitstaff are also good at asking about the severity of one's gluten-sensitivity.

Posted by
16883 posts

Thanks for the tip on getting to the Borghese from Spagna Metro station. I've ended up walking from Barberini twice, which is an uphill slog along Via Veneto.

Posted by
52 posts

Glad to see there are others looking for GF. I did post reviews on some of the restaurants on the Gluten Free Travel Site (glutenfreetravelsite.com) if interested in further information. There are other recommendations there too.