Rome (Gluten free)

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Rome, Italy – not the first place you look to go to if you’re unable to eat gluten! When my friends decided they were going to Rome and invited me along, I jumped at the chance. Everything was booked and then I realised that eating in Italy might be in a bit of a problem. Having never visited Italy before I was desperate to go and sample the culinary delights that Rome had to offer. All I can say is, thank goodness for the Internet!

I researched gluten free rome and came across some really great websites and blog posts:

http://www.eatingitalyfoodtours.com/blog/gluten-free-rome/

http://selectitaly.com/blog/rome/gluten-free-restaurants-in-rome/

http://www.zestbakery.com/blog/eating-gluten-free-rome-italy

I printed lists of restaurants from the above blogs/websites and prepared my friends for the daily hunt.

Our first day consisted of miles of walking and enabled us to take in sights such as Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the Vittorio Emmanuele Monument. Our wandering had enabled us to stumble upon a vegan gelato bar, CamBio Vita. The lemon gelato was amazing and I wish I could have taken it home with me! Also trying to avoid lactose and dairy where possible meant that a vegan gelato bar was perfect!  Dinner that night took us to Trastevere and Mama!Eat where the entire menu is available gluten free. There could not have been more choice!!!
image (Photo courtesy of one of my travelling companions)

Day 2 of Rome sightseeing took us to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Palatine. We went back to Trastevere for dinner that night via the Basilica de Santa Maria. We ate at Ristorante dai Sandri di Trastevere. They took gluten free so seriously at this restaurant that I was given a different colour knife and fork to everyone else and the waiter was insistent that neither of my travelling companions use their cutlery any where near my food. Here I sampled both gluten free pasta and pizza. The Pizza was without a doubt the best gluten free pizza I have eaten and I don’t think it will be beaten.
image (Photo courtesy of one of my travelling companions)

Day 3 took in the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. We knew that we had a day of walking ahead of us so decided to stop for lunch at La Soffitta Renovatio. Again, the entire menu was available gluten free. I could not leave Italy without eating gnocchi and this was my opportunity and my god was it good!!! At La Soffitta Renovatio, a little flag is placed into your food if it is a gluten free option. Things like this can only help to reassure you that they are taking it seriously. After hours and hours of walking, we needed to find somewhere for dinner which is where my trusted printouts were vital. We walked, despite being beyond knackered, in order to spend our last night in Rome eating in a less run of the mill restaurant, Casa Bleve. My printout had led us their only to find a notice on the door saying they were closed for summer holidays.

‘Not to worry’ I thought, despite wondering how much further my legs could carry me, ‘there’s another restaurant on my list that is close by’. We dragged ourselves to Quinzi e Gabrieli only to find that they were also closed for summer holidays. We decided to walk back on ourselves and stop at the first restaurant we found and that I would just have to spend my last night having a salad or something equally as average but gluten free. We found a restaurant nearby called Pummarola & Drink and so we all decided upon our dishes and I asked if the escalope was gluten free at which point the waiter, who had been very attentive, said that they could give me any of the pasta dishes as gluten free dishes. Thankfully I was able to spend my last meal in Rome delving into a huge (the biggest portion we had had) plate of spaghetti and eating at a restaurant with wonderful service.

I was so thankful to the individuals that posted their gluten free Rome experiences online for me to use as a guide, the Italians for being nothing but accommodating and my stomach for allowing me to spend my long weekend in Rome without any problems!!

I loved Rome, the people, the historic feel, the enthusiastic language, the beauty, the architecture, the glamorous outfits of the Italian ladies and without a doubt the gluten free food! I could never taste that it was gluten free and enjoyed every single mouthful. Now I just need to go back to experience the Trevi fountain, minus the scaffolding, and of course to experience culinary delights at Casa Bleve!!

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