When I think of Italy I think of pasta, pizza, tomatoes, mozzarella. To my surprise Italians are very aware of gluten allergies. All Italians are tested for gluten sensitivity at an early age. Those who test positive receive some fabulous benefits – a monthly stipend from the government so they can purchase gluten-free food. It’s also law that gluten-free food is available in schools, hospitals and public places. I select gluten-free options by choice and occasionally asked for gluten-free however I also tolerated the excellent quality of their flour very well. This is proof of the value of food in Italy.
Io sono celiaco [prounced “ee-o soo-no che-le-ah-cho”] – this translates to “I am celiac”
You can ask for food “senza glutine” [pronounced “senn-za glu-tee-nay”] – this translates to “without gluten”.
In Italy the food is so wonderfully fresh but you still need to be quite selective in finding great places to eat. I have a few suggestions:
1) Gelateria di Piazza is located in the central Piazza della Cisterna in San Gimignano and is the most wonderful Gelato using aromatic herbs such as rosemary and saffron.
2) Grom use only fresh seasonal fruit, coming from the best consortia in Italy and from their farm Mura Mura. No colourings or artificial additives meant I could enjoy a Gelato while travelling around Italy.
3) If you are looking for a traditional family owned restaurant where Mama and Papa are in the kitchen cooking fresh pasta then Lo Stuzzichino near Sorrento Via Deserto 1A – Sant’Agata sui due Golfi is the one for you. It is run by The De Gregorio family who believe in using fresh local seasonal produce. While enjoying a delicious meal a talented local guitarist called Marcello had us all up dancing to Mambo Italiano and That’s Amore.
4) IL FELLINI Via Sicilia, 150, Rome, Italy is a delightful restaurant that we really just stumbled upon. It is quite upmarket but the food is absolutely glorious.
5) Spaghetteria L’Archetto Via dell’Archetto, 00187 Rome, Italy is a restaurant we were recommended prior to leaving. It is close to the Trevi fountain but far enough away in a side street to avoid the majority of tourists. We enjoyed our first dinner so much that we went back for lunch the next day. It was exactly what I expected Italian food to be like – fresh and the pizzas and pastas were delicious.
6) Our last night in Rome we ate at That’s Amore 115, Via in Arcione – Rome. This restaurant is definitely right on the tourist strip near the Trevi Fountain. There is such a large number of restaurants in this area that it is hard to know which are good. The food and service was brilliant. I had a Saltimbocca which was Veal escalope topped with prosciutto and sage sautèed in a white wine sauce served with roast rosemary potatoes. It melted in my mouth.
My food experiences throughout my entire trip were superb. I had an open mind and was always able to find food that truly worked for me.