Recommendations for restaurants in Italy - travelling with severe food allergies
We plan to be in Italy in late May / early June this year to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We enjoy great food, exploring the places that local people enjoy and the adventure of finding great restaurants that don't require taking out a second mortgage. I have severe allergies to all fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts and mushrooms.
I welcome any suggestions. Thank you very much
May 26, 27th: Venice - Hotel Al Ponte Antico, Cannaregio
May 28: Venice - Hotel Foscari Palace, Cannaregio
May 29, 30, 31 - Florence - Hotel Davanzati, Via Porta Rossa 5
June 1, 2 - Cinque Terre, Manarola - Torrettas
June 3,4,5 - Siena - Frances' Lodge Relais
June 6 - 1- - Rome - Albergo Santa Chiara, Via Santa Chiara
there has been a lot of advice on this board re navigating italy and various towns with allergies.
If you put the word allergies into the search box in the upper right hand corner, or if, for that matter you look at the list of discussions below, you will see links to many of these threads.
You will have a tough time in Manarola finding eateries that do not serve sea-based dishes or where cross-contamination is not an issue. Are you allergic to chestnuts, walnuts, pine nuts and almonds in addition to peanuts? If so, then you should be extra careful in le Cinque Terre to make sure you avoid these ingredients, which are commonplace (especially pine nuts and walnuts).
If you truly "enjoy great food, exploring the places that local people enjoy and the adventure of finding great restaurants that don't require taking out a second mortgage," then I highly recommend that you plan on enjoying your sunsets with apertivi in le Cinque Terre but taking the short train ride to La Spezia for dinner. There you will find chickpea tortes and some other non-seafood dishes in an exceptionally non-touristy, purely local atmosphere.
David Downie's book "Food & Wine of the Italian Riviera and Genoa" is a worthwhile investment for someone in your situation, since it describes local dishes in detail, including all the ingredients. it is available on Amazon for quick delivery. It is too heavy to pack, but you can xerox the relevant pages for La Spezia, le Cinque Terre, Levanto, Sestri Levante and Chiavari -- all of which are an easy train ride to to and from Manarola.
Dear Barberinibee, thank you very much for your wonderful help. I have ordered the book and will take special care. Thank you also for suggesting going to La Spezia for dinner. Much appreciated! Have also order allergy cards from Select Wisely due to other recommendations on this site.