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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes

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I have just returned to the UK from a 2 week stay in Italy.  Before travelling, I had read that Italy is a great place for gluten free food, and I was disappointed.

 

Compared to the British, it is more common for Italians to know what Gluten-free (sanza-Glutin) is a real issue.  Not a single Italian waiter or shop assistant was unfamiliar with the term. That was the good news.

 

1. Stalls regularly refused to serve me ice cream. Apparently, only their sorbets are gluten free. Back home, I attribute these kinds of statements as a confusion about whether gluten is in milk or wheat, but in a hot country where everyone is supposed to understand the meaning of "sanza-Glutin", I was very disappointed. Perhaps Italian ice creams all contain wheat? (P.S. I also could not find any soy-based ice creams in Italy)

 

2. Gluten-free breads are more commonly sold in their pharmacies (Farmacy) than in regular shops. Sadly, this regulated environment has significantly reduced market competition, resulting in very expensive readily-available food that is truly revolting. I brought one packet of Italian bread home with me, and it is inferior to UK supermarket own-brands (and in the UK it is cheaper too).

 

3. Before starting my trip, I marked on a map a list of Internet-recommended Italian restaurants for gluten free food. Each of those that I visited, had closed its doors, seemingly bankrupt. The best food I found in Italy was grilled fish (simple, without a recipe) or meals at the Marriott.  For the most part, the gluten free options in restaurants were nasty. However, my partner who is not gluten intolerant, assures me that their food was equally disgusting. 

 

When I was young, the UK was the butt of food jokes. My experience suggests Italy is now the place to avoid.

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I am in Italy a lot and have had to use my restaurant card several times. But then we are adventurous travelers and really get off the beaten path into non-touristy villages, etc.

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