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Food and drink

A gluten-free guide to Italy

 

With quintessential classics like pizza and pasta on every restaurant menu, is there any hope for finding gluten-free food in Italy?

Quite simply, the answer is yes – there’s actually so much available to gluten-intolerant visitors to idyllic Italy.

Removing this ingredient from your diet means you have to find alternative options for proteins found in wheat, barley, oats, rye and more. So in a country that centres its traditional dishes around dough and flour-based foods, that might sound like a tall order. We’ve put this gluten-free guide to Italy together to help you plan where to eat.

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Gluten-free Italy

Surprisingly enough, recent studies have shown that the high percentage of wheat in Italian bread products has actually created an overexposure among locals to the ingredient. There’s been a rise in coeliacs and gluten-intolerant citizens in the country. In turn, the need for gluten-free alternatives has risen almost as quickly as dough in an oven!

Safe gluten-free foods at a glance:

  • Arrosticini meat skewers
  • Gluten-free pizza made with a corn, rice or chickpea flour base
  • Gluten-free pasta
  • Grilled meat and fish
  • Insalata Caprese – a salad simply comprising tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella
  • Lentil dishes
  • Panna cotta
  • Pesto
  • Polenta
  • Prosciutto
  • Risotto made with a gluten-free broth
  • Torta Caprese – a flourless chocolate cake

Must-eat meals and where to order them

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Florence

The dreamy Tuscan capital, Florence, has more dining options than you can shake a gluten-free breadstick at! Thanks to its expanding list of eateries offering choices for visitors with specific dietary requirements, it’s more than earned its place on our gluten-free guide.

Follow your nose to Trattoria da Garibardi and prepare for flavour sensations as you mull over whether to order the gluten-free Florentine bruschetta, classic carbonara or pappardelle with wild boar. Meanwhile, the ricotta and spinach ravioli and beef roulade are two winners at Ristorante Quinoa.

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Rome

The so-called Eternal City of Rome is a haven for foodies. But beyond the gelato and fresh ribbons of pasta, you might fancy something a bit more special. Got a sweet tooth? Mama Eat’s gluten-free desserts are a cut above the rest. Be tempted by the tiramisu there and you won’t regret it. This pudding staple is available here in the classic coffee flavour or adapted with pistachio. Bliss.

Just opposite the remarkable Colosseum, you’ll find the fine dining restaurant, Aroma. Its lavish looks and Michelin star give it its prominence, while its designated gluten-free food menu has raised its appeal among visitors with intolerances. Although the dishes can be subject to change, how does seared mackerel, goat’s cheese risotto or suckling pig cheek sound?

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Naples

If you’re going to Naples, you can’t miss out on having pizza. The traditional doughy dish is so intrinsically connected to the city’s past that the streets might as well be paved with mozzarella!

Of all the wood-fired finery in the city, Starita comes up trumps. Indulge in morsels of pizzas with lashings of tomato sauce, mozzarella and sprigs of basil, topped with everything from local ham to ricotta and nuts, speck to porcini mushrooms. Vesi is another well-known pizzeria, which cooks its dough in copper dishes to ensure its gluten-free status. Those edges are still nice and crispy, though!

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Turin

The home of Italy’s acclaimed Slow Food movement, Turin has a tourist office that’s only too happy to outline which of the city’s restaurants offer gluten-free food.

As well as traditional Italian cuisine, mouth-watering gastronomical innovations take centre stage at Le Vigne, like sea bass meatballs, scallops with pistachio bread, asparagus risotto and suckling pork can be enjoyed. For truly classic Piedmontese flavours, Antica Bruschetteria Pautasso excels. Braised ox, tagliatelle variations and dumplings with hazelnut pesto are a few faves.

If you’re ready to take on the world of gluten-free food in Italy, you can check out our city breaks to dazzling urban hubs across the country.

Jet2.com has introduced two gluten-free meals to its selection of pre-ordered meals! Check them out here.

Posted: 1st Aug 2019.

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