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  1. Hi Lexis! I've just joined this great international forum..I'm italian(diagnosed celiac in 2002)and I live in Rome,I will help you as I can,let me know your itinerary..so I'll search for info also in the italian forum. Write me soon,bye :)

    Hi quasar!

    Great to have more international people join up! If you ever want advice on travelling to Australia, let me know! We have some of the strictest criteria for gluten free and our food has strict labelling laws that must include mention of any gluten or wheat in the ingredients.

    Question 1: What is the standard for Gluten Free in Italy? How many ppm? I've heard that in different countries in Europe they have different criteria for how strictly gluten free food must be to be labelled. Coeliacs really shouldn't have any, so I find it strange that some go as high as they do, and accept wheat starch as gluten free...

    Question 2: Do you know of any hotel/restaurants, or all inclusive 'resort' type places (preferably not so expensive...and even not so resorty...), that are definitely safe for coeliacs in the Rome area, or even better, in smaller medieval-type walled towns around Italy? I've heard there are Club Meds in Italy that can cater for gluten-free but I'm not interested in pools and beaches so much as character towns, castles, and old architecture...all the stuff we don't have in Australia! I'd like a place that will cover all my meals and accomodation at a reasonable weekly rate type thing so I don't have to worry about food and be absolutely safe and have high gluten free standards so there isn't cross-contamination. Am I asking too much?

  2. Thats a great link ! I have bookmarked that one - and it seems perfect. We haven't really got to the planning stage of our trip. As a rule we like to travel in the small country areas but if my gluten-free is hard to find - may have to go to more populated areas. Florence is on the List and Tuscany and also Venice. I guess Pompeii. If you have any special places please post them ! Or PM me. What gluten-free choices are available for breakfast?

    Hi Georgie....I saw your posts in the Aussie thread. I'm in Qld. Anyway I thought I might see if I could help you a bit with your travel concerns. I actually have both coeliac disease and IBS, which makes me a very worried traveller. I also can't have any dairy. Having said that, I've been overseas 3 times since being diagnosed: twice to Canada (where I was born) and once to Europe where my wife and I did a Royal Caribbean cruise with lots of day trips.

    Air travel has been discussed in other threads but I will add my two cents: some airlines are better than others. Japan airlines was excellent for example, while Qantas has never been that great (surprisingly perhaps). If I were to go to Europe again, I'd go Singapore Air (to try), but recommend Japan airlines with a free overnight stopover in Narita (a very nice old Japanese town). Last time in Narita I had plain rice for breakfast. Always bring extra food (though you can't bring your own water anymore!). I've brought Orgran muffins I've made up, Sakata rice crackers, Mentos, Sweet Williams gluten-free and dairy free chocolate bars (Tangarine and rice bubbles). My tinned tuna was confiscated at customs in the US (as it had water in it) but you can still put it in your luggage. When travelling I also carry extra food in a separate piece of luggage and cut down my clothes. You never need all that you think you do, and you may need some food when you can't find anything somewhere.

    I'd look at two options you may or may not have considered with a trip to Europe. In fact I have been looking at them myself as I hope to improve in health someday (soon?) so I can go back. In France you can rent gites (self-catering apartments) in many towns for as low as 400 euro a week (I also prefer the small medieval towns to the big bustling cities). If you bring some food you can use as basics (eg. Orgran pasta) you can add food from local vegetable and meat markets. That is, if you don't mind cooking yourself (which in the end is safest). Australia's Orgran and Dr. Scholls (sp?) are two brands that are in European pharmacies/stores over there. You can check with both companies to see if they stock things where you are going or even use the local tourist offices to find out by email before you go.

    The second option is to find a place that actually caters for coeliacs. In France these tend to be chateaux which are expensive. In UK you can find B & Bs that cater. In Italy I found this guy who likes to cook and only cooks gluten free in his house as he has coeliac disease: this is his website: http://www.domusalessandra.com/english/welcome.htm It is on Lake Garda near Verona and also not far from Venice, which you mentioned as a possible destination. Northern Italy seems better suited to coeliacs because of the risottos.

    I believe gluten free is SENZA GLUTINE in Italy and SANS GLUTINE in France.

    Please do PM or email me when you get back from your trip so you can give me a run down on what you find so that I can possibly use what you learn in the future. Hope this helps. ;)

  3. I think this is a fantastic idea. I'm Australian and have both coeliac and IBS illnesses. It would be great for me if I could have my food completely organised to my even more restrictive diet than for most coeliacs...and be confident that they will do as I ask.

    I too was considering a cruise for me and my wife (who isn't coeliac) around October 2008....but in Eastern Mediterranean. I say October because that is the time of cheapest flights from Australia (and believe me flying from here is expensive!). I've seen a Costa cruise that leaves from Venice and goes to Rhodes, Dubruvnik, Bari, Olympia (I think), Santorini and Mykonos with a free day. This seemed like a very attractive itinerary. It is only 7 days, but there are longer. You could probably get some Brit coeliacs interested too.

    I know your plans are well underway for the Caribbean, but if there is anyone else who wants to or is organising a similar thing for the Med, please let me know. It really is a good idea to organise it like you guys are. The fares for the 7 day cruise were only about $1 400 per person (Australian dollar which is only worth 75c US), but I don't know much about Costa and their gluten-free situation.

    Anyone sailed with Costa who has coeliac (celiac to you North Americans?).

    Does anyone know anyone organising such a thing as this for Europe?