Travel to Italy - Pizza & Gelato - Rome Part 2

We all know Italian food is delicious but when it comes to food allergies, namely milk, eggs and those of you who can’t have gluten, it’s not easy.  Add to this not eating meat and you are looking at eating salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner or so I thought.  Before heading out to Rome I spent some time researching. Guide books are doom and gloom when it comes to being a non meat eater with Vegetarians having it easier than Vegans. I discovered Happy Cow website on which you can search by city for veggie restaurant/cafe recommendations. It was good to have this information for back up but I ended up not using it. I also found a useful blog post on www.walksofitaly.comThis gave me an idea of the kind of foods to look out for.

So how did I cope? I admit I spent four days eating pizza.  It turned out ordering pizza without cheese was an easier task than expected. Marinara pizza is as simple as it gets, with tomato sauce, oregano and garlic but no cheese. Super easy to order and on the menu at many restaurants. I was confident enough to order Vegetarian pizzas without cheese. Wait staff often speak some English because they expect tourists plus you just need to mention “senza formaggio” and I got by fairly well. I must admit ordering pasta was more daunting because you are navigating sauces and the pasta ingredients. Fresh pasta is trickiest for egg but there are several shapes which would normally be made egg free. Italy is well know for being accepting of those Gluten Free. I did spotted a couple of restaurants offering gluten free pasta so it's worth doing your research before arriving. Failing that if the pizza or pasta gets boring then salads (insalatas) are readily available on menus.

Aside from pizza and pasta you have gelato. I had a list of suitable places to try from Happy Cow but I did not need it.  Turned out L’Orso Bianco which was next door to our Hotel had dairy free options, soya and fruit sorbets. I think I had seven flavours to choose from and I tried soya vanilla, soya chocolate, mango and fruits of the forest. Also this place was good value for money three flavours €2.50 cone or €3 cup. We also stopped at Blue Ice Gelaterie near the Trevi Fountain, which was on the Happy Cow list. I had a soya pistachio which was nice but did not rock the taste buds. It was also more expensive.

Another discovery which made me smile was pistachio chocolate which I picked up in a supermarket. Its gluten free and has a “may contain traces of milk” label.  I have been enjoying this treat and wish I had picked up more than one bar to bring back with me. If I had been in Rome for more than 4 days I would have found my diet limited and dull. The important thing was I managed. On the whole I generally don’t have too much issue with cross contamination so that is something I don't always navigate. I ended up having bigger problems with food at Gatwick and Fiumicino Airport. In fact I had nothing but a bag of crisps. I really don’t understand why these places are not catering for allergies, vegans or vegetarians given the amount of people that pass through their doors.

Sarah x

Disclaimer - not all the food pictured above is dairy or meat free