Saturday, March 17

Gluten-Free Rome for Tourists

I often overhear Americans on vacation in Rome, the land of pasta, pane, pizza and wine state that they can't eat this or that during their Roman holiday.  For many with gluten allergies, a trip to Italy is synonymous with a sight-seeing trip of all the bathrooms in the Bel Paese.  I have had gluten and yeast allergies my whole life, and although you are tempted at every turn, I have found (much to my dismay) that you can still eat very well in Italy without imbibing in the carb-fest that will be sure to give you Montezemolo's Revenge. 
But now, the already health-conscious purveyor of fine eating, Italy, has awakened to the idea of gluten allergies.  And finally,it's beginning to catch on that while gramma's cooking might keep you trim, it might not keep you healthy and that a wheat-based diet is not what the Dottore ordered.  So you can now purchase excellent pastas made from corn and a wide variety of gluten-free items in stores across the country.
But when it comes to eating in Italy, of course, pasta is part of the package.  I cringe when guests are forced to bypass the pasta & pizza for a boring old plate of calamari (depressingly, not batter-fried) instead...But there seems to be a silver lining on your porcelain plate: Italian Celiac Associations have taken Italy by storm and are setting themselves up to change all that.  
You can now find lists upon lists of eateries, taverns and even gelato houses serving up gluten-free specialties.  Mark my words:  you will not be disappointed.  Unlike the faux-food Americans, if it's not up to snuff, the Italians simply won't 'go there' (just ask the frozen food companies who actually employ grammas and mammas in their test kitchens)...
So, aside from the usual (and unusually good) suspects listed on [including Voglia di Pizza, Arancia and Il Maggiolino], here are a few sources so you don't have to say 'No, Grazie' to the tantalizing treats for your tastebuds in Rome.  The site lists their exhaustive categories by city, so you can consult them for wherever you may be traveling, but here are links to lists for a buonissimo e bella gluten-free Rome:

and, since breakfast is the most difficult, 
with all the tasty treats at your corner bar

Gluten-free Bed&Breakfasts in Rome

Gluten-free Gelaterie  

Here's a superb list on Rome eateries & outside of Rome for a gluten-free holiday, tested out by one of my favorite bloggers, Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

And for a nice write-up on a trip to Italy from a Gluten-free Girl, click here.


form 8938 said...

I love Rome, it is a beautiful city for sight-seeing trip. However, you made me think about all the people with food allergy problems... great post!

Eleonora said...

Thanks so much for linking to my article!

Ciao bella