Gluten Free in Italy...help!
Hello! My husband and I are both 31. We are heading to Rome, Positano, and Ravello in late May. I have celiac disease and need to eat gluten free. Does anyone have suggestions of gluten-free friendly restaurants in those cities? We would prefer non touristy places!
you got a number of encouraging suggestions already. Id add it would be worth a search using the box in the upper right of celiac or gluten free - then when you get the responses, change the date range to go out a year or two - there have been several threads on this topic in the last couple years.
There are not a whole lot of alternate starches to wheat used in the Amalfi coast area, but there is a lot of good eating there, simple preparations of veg, fish, legumes, cheese and meat . Just do tell them you are celiac as advised, there are a lot of people with this disorder in Italy.
I do agree with bb that a lot of the complex veg preparations, for example stuffed veg such as eggplant, or eggplant parmigiana, may include flour or bread crumbs, so watch out
There are actually a few pretty good GF restaurants in Rome:
Renovatio La Soffitta Piazza Risorgimento 46A 06.6889.2977
Mama! Eat: Via di San Cosimato 7
I love this little place, and they are seriously GF. They even have a special kitchen that is not contaminated by wheat. I've eaten there a few times, and even tried their GF pasta which I have to say is pretty good.
But since you aren't Celiac, but just intollerant, then I'd also stick to regular restaurants. There are loads of delicious options that don't have gluten. You just won't be able to order pasta and pizza, but you'll be fine otherwise.
If you do google searches for the places you are going with the words "senza glutine" or "ristoranti per Celiaci", you will turn up restaurants that advertise themselves as having gluten-free offerings. Here is one I just turned up for Postiano:
or this for Rome:
It's possible that if you identify a few restaurants that interest you and ask about them here, people can tell you if the kitchen is generally good or not.
If you have a very bad reaction to dishes that might have even trace amounts of gluten in them, be aware that sometimes vegetables and sauces are prepared in Italy using boullion cubes as a base, so if you should ask if a dish is "senza glutine" if it is not identified as such on the menu.
I can eat gluten, so I don't have extensive knowledge of what else you might need to avoid, but just be aware that, in general, a description on an Italian menu, especially in English, may reveal only a fraction of the ingredients. Thus, a sauce may contain bread crumbs, or a potato dish might have flour or some other unmentioned item that you shouldn't eat.
All restaurants in Positano and Ravello pretty much exist to cater to tourists, with varying degrees of sophistication, so as long as the food makes you feel good, I wouldn't worry about their touristy nature. As for Rome, many Italians have celiac disease, so you'll probably have lots of local company in the gluten-free restaurants you choose.