At some point in history, the Italians gave the rest of the World pizza and pasta, and, until the whole -dairy-free-coeliac – thing, I was forever in their debt. Since that point in my life, I’ve found a few average to good gluten free pizzas, nothing hugely life changing, and overall, I’ve missed it.
Booking to fly out to Rome for a few days, I fully prepared myself to eat salad for a few days; in the land of pizza and pasta; what chance was there to find not only dairy free but coeliac friendly food!
I usually get a bit nervous travelling to foreign places when I can’t speak the language and I know I’m going to have to try and tell a waiter that I can’t eat these things, but since I don’t want allergies to cause me miss out, I go anyway!
My uncle is Italian, and so made me a handy little card incase no one can understand me; it states exactly what I can and can’t eat, I can simply hand over the card to the waiter and fingers crossed it’ll all work out okay. I’ve got a brand new page here on Ditch the Dairy, so you can view and print the card to use yourself!
I had the most amazing time in Rome; the sights are crazy beautiful, the history is amazing; and I didn’t have to use my allergy card once as everyone was super friendly and 98% of places had gluten free options! It turns out, the land of the carbs actually caters better for allergies than anywhere else I’ve been, and all the waiters and waitresses knew exactly what was in every dish and were more than happy to help adapt certain things, swapping sauces etc.
So at the end of my trip, I’ve compiled a few recommendations.
After an amazing tour of the Colosseum, Ellie used this fab app ‘Find me Gluten Free’ to find a place that serves gluten free, and we chose Pizzeria Chicco di Grano; I’m so glad we did- not only did I have an unbelievably tasty seafood pasta cooled in oil, but I met a lovely woman who served us; who, also coeliac, gave us the name of the place she loves to go to that is majorly coeliac friendly; so I couldn’t thank her enough!
I like to talk about my allergies as a two parter; we can usually get past one hurdle and fall at the second- yes it’s dairy free, no it’s not gluten free and vice versa. So when I saw every gelato and sorbet at Grom are certified by the coeliac society as GF, I was halfway there (woaaaaah livin’ on a prayer.) All their sorbets are also DF, but it’s the extra dark chocolate that had my nose pressed up against the glass. I got this flavour and the raspberry as I thought this was the least random combo I could have gone for; I’d say in my book these were slightly more of a thick ice cream texture rather than a light refreshing sorbet. I’d really recommend popping in if you’re on a trip; and with stores all over Italy and further afield, you might stumble across one where you are!
As mentioned above, this was a recommendation that completely made my trip! I made Ellie walk across Rome with me on our last day, her feet already in ruins from uncomfortable shoes and the heat, but I was tunnel visioned to the pizza, and so I made her suffer (albeit not really in silence; girl can complain with gusto!)
I’d been pining for a pizza the entire trip, and here, with a huge designated menu for gluten free, and with backing from the coeliac society in Rome, I’d hit the jackpot. Even on the outside of the restaurant theres the cross grain symbol; certifying it as a safe place for those gluten free!
I got the bruschetta for starters; something else I wasn’t anticipating I’d be able to have! This was delicious, and I followed it by a pizza I customised with vegetables and no cheese. This was by FAR, the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever had, now writing this I’m incredibly hungry and miserable I can’t relive this moment right now! If you’re in Rome, it’s well worth crossing the city for; you won’t be disappointed I promise! Big claim I know.
It’s outrageous how I look at this pizza with more love than I look at 98% of humans. I literally sat in this chair until I ate the entire pizza; there was no way I was wasting it!
Our hotel; Romanico Palace Hotel and Spa were also great for breakfast; it was a buffet style, but I told the hostess my dietary requirements and she came over with a number of breakfast items especially for me, which was fab- I’d definitely recommend staying here!
All in all, I love Rome and there was an overwhelming choice of food for me to eat, it wasn’t an issue at all. It made the trip so much better because it let me enjoy the trip without either crying into my lettuce as all I could eat was salad, or worrying about what I could eat and trying to talk to a waiter with my Italian which I admit goes little further than Ciao.
I would love to go back, let me know if I’ve missed anywhere off my list that caters to free from-ers!