This podcast guide to gluten free vacations in Italy can really help you plan your next trip to this wonderful region. Earlier this summer (2016) my husband, co-author and professional chef, went to Italy for 7 days on a stopover from North Africa for more tasty travels and research.
We wanted to make a podcast about how to stay gluten free and mostly Paleo on your trip to the land of pizza and pasta. We do believe in trying the local foods and if your health allows it, splurging on some things that you don’t normally eat while staying gluten free. We ate gelato and more gluten free pizza and pasta that we normally don’t eat at home but didn’t feel bad because we wanted to have fun and soak up the culinary culture.
Traveling can be stressful so make sure you are well rested before you go and plan ahead as much as possible to avoid disappointment and/or sickness. See our Instagram album of our here.
We found that Italy was pretty simple to navigate with a smart phone, you can unlock it before you go and get a sim card while there to have unlimited wifi. That was very helpful for getting around and finding gluten free foods on the go. At least call your phone company and get an international plan or you will be hit with a big bill when you get home. Also many cafes and coffee shops have free wifi with a purchase which helps to navigate your next destination. To get the most out of the experience it important to unplug from day to day email and work if you can to indulge in the Italian lifestyle called belle vita meaning the relaxed and peaceful life that is never boring but not complicated.
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- Let your hair down and enjoy the life and the food, we ate gluten free but more sugar and dairy than usual
- Italy is very celiac and gluten sensitivity friendly
- Yelp, Trip Advisor to help plan for success
- Multi language celiac card application you can carry with you and show your waiter to avoid problems, you can order one HERE
- Italian food and Mediterranean food has a great crossover with flavors and spices – great!
- Touristy areas will likely have poor food options, La Capa de Oro (avoid)
- Mama Eat – great gluten free restaurant is a romantic and fun area, check out their website here
- Settimbrini – coffee shop, farm to table, neighborhood vibes, non-touristy, gluten free friendly.
- Mozzarella and caprese salad everywhere!
- Caitlin reliving college days through gelato but this time with better options Fatamorgana (extensive labeling system), check out their website here.
- Transportation was a combo of shuttles, taxis, walking, red on-and-off buses
- Il Desco (organic farm vegetables, flan, crepes, tar tar and gluten free friendly), check out their website here
- Nabil’s goal to eat all the different types of mozarella
- Grom – gelato, organic gluten free, seasonal ingredients – they are everywhere! Check out their website here
- grocery store stop (Carre Fore) with amazing food – good chain grocery store, “bio” which means organic, check out their website here
TUSCANY-SIENNA/ SAN GIMIGNANO:
- Enjoyed a romantic picnic overlooking the town
- Rented a car at Enterprise to see the sights and Grom!
- Listen to your body while on vacation if you are feeling tired – rest
- Nabil was feeling under the weather so we cooked a big pot of soup at our Air B and B (try Airbnb here).
- We used thieves oil for immune support (order essential oils here).
- Nice coastal place to chill out away from the cities
- Another opportunity to use a hop on hop off bus (we used this one).
- Prepare yourself with snacks like hard boiled eggs, sardines, fruit, or stop for dairy free sorbetto
- Cantina di Miky – real food restaurant right on the beach, the anchovy dish was great!
EXTRA NOTES ON THE TRIP:
- No almond milk lattes – the coffee situation is very different, latte means milk fyi, with no coffee
- Not too many probiotic foods available- Kefir at Eataly
- Euro and dollar are very close, making it economical (summer 2016)
- Eataly – good place for gourmet snacks and gifts, also eating, coffee and gelato
- Call airline ask for gluten free meals ahead of time on international flights
- Plan ahead do your research ahead of time, Yelp, Trip Advisor, find me gluten free app, and other apps that will help you navigate gluten free restaurant options, also talk to your waiter and be friendly.
- I had the Lonely Planet guide (order here) I had the kindle version on my phone (order here) which was helpful for finding slow food and organic options but not specifically gluten free. It was great to have already downloaded for when I had no internet.
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