gluten free Italian

Every so often, our family makes a new version of a "homemade" gluten free pizza. We've tried many brands, and to be honest, we don't have a favorite...they actually all turn out pretty well. But to be honest, many times we go with our favorite ready-made frozen gluten free pizza (or frozen shell, which we top with our own sauce and toppings). We love Against the Grain pizzas (and plain shells) and have also enjoyed Udi's frozen pizzas when cooked on the grill. But traveling in Italy this summer inspired us and had us looking forward to trying a new mix for gluten free crust...a mix from one of our favorite restaurants in Florence. "How is this relevant to me?" you ask. How would you get your hands on this mix without going to Italy? Well, as of a couple weeks ago, it's available on Amazon.com! (A 3-pack is priced well at $12.84.) We purchased two boxes of the mix (which also comes with fresh-packed tomato sauce in a tin can and a packet of oregano) after dining at the restaurant...before we knew it would be available in the States via Amazon.com soon enough. So we had the pleasure of... Read more →


Travel & Leisure magazine has just named Charleston the #1 travel city in the world! Have you been there? If not, now is a great time to visit, while also layering in a bit of culture. From October 6-9, 2016, Charleston is hosting its annual Nuovo Cinema Italiano Italian Film Festival. You can combine everything Italian with wonderful Charleston culture at the perfect time of year! And, of course, you will dine gluten free without worry. Ellen Morse, gluten free travel specialist and Celiac herself, lives in Charleston and sits on the Board of the Festival. Since moving to Charleston a year ago, she has been exploring gluten free restaurant options and can personally recommend local venues where you will enjoy safe and wonderful meals. She has also vetted three different (and gorgeous) hotels that are able to take good care of gluten free guests. Your stay can even be extended beyond the dates of the festival, if you'd like to spend more time exploring Charleston and the surrounding area. There is limited availability at the hotels, however, so if you think you might be interested, give Ellen a call at 312-337-9235 or email her at ellen@glutenfreetravel-us.com. The New Italian... Read more →


Have you dreamed of being able to enjoy authentic Neapolitan style pizza? Homemade gluten-free pasta with almost any sauce you can imagine? Gluten-free Nutella crepes? Freshly made gelato in a variety of gluten-free flavors? No, I'm not trying to torture you...but rather give you hope. These things do exist, and if you've ever longed to go to Italy, you can now entertain that thought...without worrying about how you'll stay gluten-free. I'm thrilled to announce the publication of my second e-book, Gluten-Free in ITALY: Your Worry-Free & Gluten-Free Guide to Italy. Like my first e-book, Gluten-Free in LONDON, this guide to ITALY provides you with everything you need for a successful (and safely gluten-free) trip: restaurant recommendations, advice on accommodations, tips for getting around each city (and between cities), the scoop on the best tours and excursions, and suggestions for saving money. You can literally use the book as a day-by-day guide to the cities our family just visited in late June/early July: Rome, Florence, and Venice. Our 12-day journey was a dream come true. We had enough time in each city so that we didn't feel rushed (although you never really have enough time to see all the amazing sites... Read more →


Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen and its founder Rick Freedman have always been trailblazers in the dining world. Picazzo's was one of the first to offer a large choice of gluten free options on their menu -- even many years ago -- and with each passing year, their menu has become more gluten-free friendly. In fact, their entire menu is now gluten free, save for the option to order pizza with either their organic "original" crust or organic whole-grain crust (of course, they do have gluten-free pizza, too...more about that in a moment). Whereas most gluten-free-savvy restaurants have a separate area of the kitchen for preparing their gluten free orders, Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen is the opposite. Their main kitchen is all gluten free, and they have a separate prep area and separate oven for their "regular" pizzas, which are the only gluten-containing items on the menu! There's not even a need to have "GF" notations on the menu, since everything is GF, save those two types of pizza. Imagine going into a restaurant and being able to order literally anything on the menu. And we're not talking about a small restaurant with just a few items. Picazzo's has a huge... Read more →


Earlier this summer, our older (non-Celiac) son who doesn't like pizza anyway was off to a camp with friends. It provided a great opportunity for me to have some in-the-kitchen bonding time with our younger son (who has Celiac) making pizza (which he loves!). We've tried all sorts of store-bought gluten free pizzas over the 10 years since our son was first diagnosed with Celiac, and we've also bought "naked" crusts to customize them ourselves. I've even tried various gluten free mixes and flours to make our own "from scratch" pizza when time allows. So I was particularly curious to try Cup 4 Cup's new gluten free Pizza Crust Mix. Surprisingly, this was my first Cup 4 Cup purchase. I know many of you swear by their all-purpose flour. I've been meaning to try it -- despite its high price tag -- but have been really happy with the other GF flour blends I use (King Arthur's all purpose GF flour and GF all purpose baking mix, Bob's Red Mill new gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, Pamela's GF All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend, Tom Sawyer gluten free flour, and gfJules Gluten Free Flour). But when I saw this new Pizza Crust... Read more →


With Celiac Awareness Month coming to a close, we have one final gift card giveaway. This time it's a $25 Gift Card to Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, with 22 locations spread out over 10 states. It's one restaurant our family looks forward to tracking down when traveling (unfortunately, there isn't a location near us yet -- we keep hoping!). With delectable Italian specialties including gluten free pasta and homemade gluten free pizza, you'll be tempted by many of the choices on their large Gluten Free Menu. They're always adding new gluten free items and seasonal specials, and we mentioned them in a recent Blog post where we showcased our favorite gluten-free friendly chains. DETAILS OF THE $25 GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY Have you already tried any of the gluten free offerings at Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano? If so, Submit a Review of the location you've dined to GlutenFreeTravelSite (or submit a quick review right on our DINE GLUTEN FREE app), and you'll be entered into our random drawing for a $25 Biaggi's Gift Card. If you haven't yet tried Biaggi's gluten free menu items, you can still enter the contest...just choose another favorite GF-friendly restaurant to review on our website. If you prefer... Read more →


Just in time for Celiac Awareness Month, many of our favorite "gluten-free friendly" restaurant chains have added even more gluten free items to their already impressive Gluten Free Menus. There's bound to be a location of one of these chains near you…and keep the others on your radar when you travel. Our family finds that's part of the fun of traveling…getting to try some of the best GF-friendly restaurants that don't happen to have a location near us. Burtons Grill -- A chain with locations along the East Coast, Burtons is one of our personal favorites. We dined at their Charlottesville, VA location over our kids' Spring Break when we visited Monticello and Montpelier. Favorite items ordered included the Spicy Fried Calamari, Beet Salad, Mediterranean Chicken Risotto, and gluten free Fish & Chips (really…how often do you find gluten free calamari and fish and chips?!) Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano -- This chain, with locations in 10 states, is another favorite we look forward to visiting when we travel. They have many gluten free pastas on the menu, in addition to gluten free pizza (including two new ones). I'm looking forward to trying the Wild Mushroom Truffle pizza at some point. Another... Read more →


If you're gluten free, it's hard to beat the sheer thrill of discovering gluten-free friendly destinations. It's absolute heaven to discover a destination where you can dine on gourmet gluten-free specialties for every meal without worry. If it's in Tuscany, Italy, it's even better…. Some of you may recall the week-long gluten-free culinary events hosted by Jovial Foods (maker of divine gluten-free pasta and sauces) at a historic 18th century Tuscan villa. They hold these events once or twice a year -- Fall and late Spring -- and every time I write about it, it's pure torture. That's because attending one of these unique gluten-free culinary weeks is on my own personal Bucket List. Unfortunately, however, these gluten-free getaways are typically scheduled during times of the year when our kids are in school. But someday, perhaps…. If you're lucky enough to have the flexibility to travel in October, a particularly beautiful month in Italy, you'll want to consider treating yourself to this special vacation. And, in fact, you may not need to treat yourself…Jovial Foods may just treat you to a complimentary visit. Between now and June 30, 2015, you can enter their drawing for a free week (airfare and... Read more →


As we all know, there's a growing number of people who are now following gluten free diets by choice. It's a double-edged sword. It has made restauranteurs more interested in offering gluten free options on their menus, but unfortunately, this is often driven by profit motives. Too many times, restaurants aren't properly trained (by organizations such as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness or the Gluten Intolerance Group) in safe preparation protocol, and diners who must follow gluten free diets for medical reasons (Celiac or gluten sensitivity) can become ill. Italian restaurants can be among the trickiest types of restaurants to navigate, since there are so many wheat flour-based items on the menu...like pizza and pasta. If there is flour flying in the air from the pizza making, that poses another risk. As with dining out in general, everyone needs to personally assess Italian restaurant options and determine their own level of comfort before choosing a specific restaurant. But here are some general questions to ask, preferably before even walking in the door: Visit the restaurant's website. Is there a specific GLUTEN FREE MENU? While this doesn't mean you can let your guard down, it's usually a good sign the... Read more →