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Planning A Trip To Italy
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September, with a galpal....any suggestions? I know Italy is very gluten free progressive and my most favorite destination.

I have been there before with my husband on layovers and looking forward to TIME to see the sites and explore. post celiac.

Any suggestions? :D

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Lucky you.....take an empty suitcase to fill up to bring back home!!! I think celiac chicks has a post on Italy..& another too but can't remember the name try googling gluten-free Italy.

I need not tell you to enjoy the trip as I know you will ..I don't fly anymore(chicken) so I guess I will never see Italy.....at least not very soon....

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Lucky you.....take an empty suitcase to fill up to bring back home!!! I think celiac chicks has a post on Italy..& another too but can't remember the name try googling gluten-free Italy.

I need not tell you to enjoy the trip as I know you will ..I don't fly anymore(chicken) so I guess I will never see Italy.....at least not very soon....

Thanks manaw! It's a bit away, yet exciting. Yes, an empty suitcase for the gluten free goodnesses. Think I could get away with that? I can find a way! :lol::rolleyes:

I will check out specifics when closer in time. <snicker> :D

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Five years ago I read that 70% of Italian restaurants offer a gluten-free menu. I would suppose that that number is probably even higher now. I've also read that they have some terrific gluten-free products. I visited pre-celiac diagnosis, too, and would love to return. Have a wonderful trip!

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OMG! You are going to love Italy!

We went to Rome for 5 days at the end of February -- it was glorious. We rented an apartment but I barely cooked (only eggs for breakfast.) Ate out for lunch and dinner and didn't have a problem anywhere in terms of being glutened. Servers know all about Celiac and could point out items on the menu that were appropriate. No one was phased when I said that I had Celiac -- even the college-aged guys at the gelato shops were like, "Oh, we have 'Celiac' cones if you want one" and told me which flavors to avoid because of ingredients. You're going to have to skip the quick grab-and-go pizza places but with all the amazing restaurants there are, who wants to eat pizza that's been sitting under a heatlamp for a while even if you could?

Here's my post with a restaurant recommendation:

Enjoy!

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Remember that the scoops for gelato may be c/c, even if the flavor itself is ok.

Pharmacies have gluten-free food, great for on the go snacks.

Enjoy FRESH vegetables, prepared exquisitely....yum!

Jealous here....

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Remember that the scoops for gelato may be c/c, even if the flavor itself is ok.

Definitely pay attention to the scoops -- most places we went, each tub of gelato had its own scoop (there was absolutely no sharing) so I didn't worry too much!

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OMG! You are going to love Italy!

We went to Rome for 5 days at the end of February -- it was glorious. We rented an apartment but I barely cooked (only eggs for breakfast.) Ate out for lunch and dinner and didn't have a problem anywhere in terms of being glutened. Servers know all about Celiac and could point out items on the menu that were appropriate. No one was phased when I said that I had Celiac -- even the college-aged guys at the gelato shops were like, "Oh, we have 'Celiac' cones if you want one" and told me which flavors to avoid because of ingredients. You're going to have to skip the quick grab-and-go pizza places but with all the amazing restaurants there are, who wants to eat pizza that's been sitting under a heatlamp for a while even if you could?

Here's my post with a restaurant recommendation:

Enjoy!

I was going to suggest contacting you as I've saved your post for our trip next year. Love this place.

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We are not sure whether to get a hotel or a flat in Rome and make side excursions. Florence is a definite destination. And I would like to head south, or north :rolleyes:

Is independent travel easy? As an American, I expect all Europeans to speak English....shame on me, I know! <_<:rolleyes:

Or would it be wise to do a small group tour?

And I HAVE so see Pompeii! :D

Thank everyone for the wonderful suggestions!!! Ya'll come with us! :P

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Get yourself a Teach Yourself Italian" DVD and you'd be surprised how much you can pick up. I used to play it in the car and practice on my commutes - but they do nearly all speak English anyway. Our hotel room in Florence for three nights was tiny, but then we rented a 1br apt. for a week in the hills south of Florence and took day trips to all the Tuscan hill towns from there. We found that you definitely needed both driver and navigator and even then got lost a few times but that's half the fun. I booked all the accommodation for our three-week trip by email on the internet and it all worked out great. Europcar is a good rental company. Get a small car because the streets are very ---------- :) - well, you've been there, you know that.

The street markets are fabulous - try to coincide your visits to towns with their market day(s) and eat like kings and queens. We found that independent travel worked well for us, and we would set up a base for a week or three or four nights and do day trips around. We went only to Tuscany and Umbria - didn't even go to Venice or Rome :o - maybe a future trip although I'd go back to Tuscany in a flash. We went in April, before easter, and it turned out to be a good time of year. Sept. should be good too although October would probably be better, crowd-wise. If you go to Siena, make sure to pass through Deruta to look at the pottery. :)

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Ooooh...I'm getting excited! Thanks Schroomie!

I have traveled extensively, but not as much as I could have with my husband over these thirty years. We brought the kids when and where we could. Kids are now 29 and 30. Soooooo......my time! :D

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I've been to Italy three times, always alone. I travel with a backpack and a Rick Steves' book and I've never had a problem.

I second the home base and day trips idea. It gets exhausting changing residences all the time, just when you found the perfect place to shop...

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Lisa, so happy you are going to Italy! I've been to Italy many times. We go there twice each year and love it to bits.

Yes, it is very easy to do it independently. I once went with my girlfriend and we were just fine. Usually my husband and I go together and we are a good team when it comes to driving and navigating, even without a GPS. You may want to consider a tour at Pompeii but I personally would not anywhere else (except maybe a walking tour of Rome, especially in the coliseum).

It is very easy to be celiac there. I would recommend taking along restaurant cards in case you get off the beaten path (which I highly recommend). Stay away from the places with English placard menus. Trust me. Seek out spots only with Italian menus. Last November in Venice I encountered a gelateria with gluten in their gelato - the guy even showed me the ingredient lists. So be careful! Grom Gelato is gluten free so if you see it, try it. But they are so much more informed and aware than in North America. Celiac testing by the age of six is mandatory there so they get it. Just take lots of snacks with you to the airports - that can be the tricky part. Be prepared for flight delays (that happens often enough). You can get gluten-free pasta (you can even buy it to take it in to many restaurants and they will cook it for you), risotto, polenta and even wood oven-fired pizza.

Pompeii is outstanding. Plan to spend an entire day there. But take sunscreen! It can get baking hot. I've been to Rome four times and know the historic centre well. I could do it alone easily without getting lost. You will be perfectly fine. The public transportation system is easy peasy in Rome - very straightforward. Florence is glorious as well. Be prepare to pick up your chin at least once or twice! :D You MUST see David.

Most people will speak English in the places you are going as they are touristy. I personally don't like being surrounded by English speakers when in a foreign country and try to escape it. I love Italian and know enough to get by.

You will have a BLAST. How long are you spending at each place?

Just a suggestion - we enjoy the Cinque Terre more than Capri but perhaps our tastes are different. The Cinque Terre is like nowhere else - incredibly lovely. Easy to get to from Florence by train or car (though the 5 villages are all pedestrianized so you park your car on the "top"). And if you want south, we particularly love Sicily. It is so different from the rest of Italy. The people consider themselves Sicilian first then Italian. Love it.

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Lucky you.....take an empty suitcase to fill up to bring back home!!! I think celiac chicks has a post on Italy..& another too but can't remember the name try googling gluten-free Italy.

I need not tell you to enjoy the trip as I know you will ..I don't fly anymore(chicken) so I guess I will never see Italy.....at least not very soon....

I know you say you do not fly but I encourage you to jump into it and do it. My paralyzing fear of flying is due to extreme pain that I suffer when I fly. It is debilitating and outright agonizing. We fly to Italy/Croatia again in two weeks and I am thrilled but the closer it gets the more worried I become. I make myself do it because Italy and especially Croatia are that great. Honestly. There is nothing like travel. So, I get Ativan from my doctor to calm me for the flights - perhaps something you can try. It puts many to sleep but I am not allowed to sleep when I fly (herniated discs and so on). My fear is not of flying itself but is so bad because of pain that I have not gone a few times. That destroyed me mentally. You would not believe what a huge accomplishment it is to get over fears! I used to let flying control me but I do not any longer. Sure, it is absolutely horrific (I honestly cannot explain how bad it is in words) but after a few massages I am ready to see the world! So, take heart. I know it can be very hard but it can be done. :) If you want it badly enough start your planning!

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Lisa, so happy you are going to Italy! I've been to Italy many times. We go there twice each year and love it to bits.

Yes, it is very easy to do it independently. I once went with my girlfriend and we were just fine. Usually my husband and I go together and we are a good team when it comes to driving and navigating, even without a GPS. You may want to consider a tour at Pompeii but I personally would not anywhere else (except maybe a walking tour of Rome, especially in the coliseum).

It is very easy to be celiac there. I would recommend taking along restaurant cards in case you get off the beaten path (which I highly recommend). Stay away from the places with English placard menus. Trust me. Seek out spots only with Italian menus. Last November in Venice I encountered a gelateria with gluten in their gelato - the guy even showed me the ingredient lists. So be careful! Grom Gelato is gluten free so if you see it, try it. But they are so much more informed and aware than in North America. Celiac testing by the age of six is mandatory there so they get it. Just take lots of snacks with you to the airports - that can be the tricky part. Be prepared for flight delays (that happens often enough). You can get gluten-free pasta (you can even buy it to take it in to many restaurants and they will cook it for you), risotto, polenta and even wood oven-fired pizza.

Pompeii is outstanding. Plan to spend an entire day there. But take sunscreen! It can get baking hot. I've been to Rome four times and know the historic centre well. I could do it alone easily without getting lost. You will be perfectly fine. The public transportation system is easy peasy in Rome - very straightforward. Florence is glorious as well. Be prepare to pick up your chin at least once or twice! :D You MUST see David.

Most people will speak English in the places you are going as they are touristy. I personally don't like being surrounded by English speakers when in a foreign country and try to escape it. I love Italian and know enough to get by.

You will have a BLAST. How long are you spending at each place?

Just a suggestion - we enjoy the Cinque Terre more than Capri but perhaps our tastes are different. The Cinque Terre is like nowhere else - incredibly lovely. Easy to get to from Florence by train or car (though the 5 villages are all pedestrianized so you park your car on the "top"). And if you want south, we particularly love Sicily. It is so different from the rest of Italy. The people consider themselves Sicilian first then Italian. Love it.

I am getting such great advice. Much of which makes me wish it was tomorrow.

I have been to Rome a couple of times with my husband on his layovers, but of course not too much time to take in the magic of the city. Taxi rides are an experience in itself. :blink:

Glad to know that trains are accessible. The "navigator" will not be with me.

Can you recommend a quality hotel in the historic district? I have reviewed lots of photos on the internet, but I know that pictures can be far from reality. We are leaning toward a Rome base and do the side trips.

OMG! You all are getting me so excited. Bucket list...one at a time :D Thank you.

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Can you recommend a quality hotel in the historic district? I have reviewed lots of photos on the internet, but I know that pictures can be far from reality. We are leaning toward a Rome base and do the side trips.

We rented an apartment for the time we were in Rome -- it ended up being cheaper than a decent hotel and we had more space plus a kitchen so we could do breakfasts 'in.'

We used the website oh-rome (just google oh rome apartments) -- there was a huge selection you can narrow by what you want (location, wi-fi, satellite tv, parking, etc.) The apartment we got was exactly as described and had an amazing location.

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For places to stay, I would recommend:

www.venere.it

and www.vrbo.com

Both are good choices for private homes/apartments and hotels.

As a Celiac, I always prefer to have a kitchen. I have rented via vrbo.com perhaps 12 times and have never been disappointed. Look for listings with reviews, lots of photos and "get a feel" for the owner's communication and responsiveness.

Have a blast!

Remember, in Italy, you can often buy gluten-free food/snacks at the local pharmacy.

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We lived in Italy for 2 years, loved it! We found Rome super to get around by city bus, cheap too. Wonderful thing about Italy is they are very big on their veggies so you ahve all kinds of wonderful dishes without the worry of sauces of gluten. Keep your valuables in a real safe place. A family member was nearly robbed during a visit but police in street clothes had been watching and caught the guys. Language won't be a problem and neither will the menu, have a great time!!

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