Gluten Free Italy

If you're a lover of Italy but have already visited some of the bustling cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, or Milan, you owe it to yourself to consider a trip that's more "off the beaten path," but still just as enjoyable and fascinating. Some of you may remember me mentioning a travel opportunity to the Umbria region of Italy a few months ago. A yoga instructor ( http://goyogichef.com ) who is also a Le Cordon Bleu classically trained chef (and gluten free herself) had organized a group for a Food and Wine Tour of Umbria, escorted by Marcello and Raffaella, owners of Bluone Tours. Although I didn't initially think I could swing the trip, given various commitments with my kids and their busy school schedules, my husband graciously offered to "hold down the fort" at home, which allow an old college friend and me to embark on this unforgettable journey. Italy already held the title of "absolute favorite destination" in my mind, but I had never had the opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside made famous by films such as Under the Tuscan Sun. It was the prospect of exploring medieval hilltop towns frozen in time that appealed to me...getting... Read more →


I'm often asked about best destinations for gluten free travelers. In fact, just yesterday, I responded to someone's inquiry about finding a GF-friendly all-inclusive resort in a warm climate. It used to be that answering these questions was difficult...or at least, it was a short answer! Now, however, our family's own Bucket List of where we want to travel is incredibly long. That's because, from a gluten free perspective, we now can travel safely to so many places. The choices are almost endless. So whatever your type of travel, I have recommendations for you. 1.) Favorite stand-by: All-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean or Mexico have been forever popular with travelers. It probably has something to do with the warm climate, endless food, and no worries about being nickeled-and-dimed for everything you eat, drink, or do. We get a good number of reviews coming in for resorts on our website, and one that recently stands out is Dreams Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. In fact, after getting back-to-back favorable reviews from families that spent the holidays there last year, we decided to showcase this resort on our Featured Review page back in February. I always recommend calling Lesley Hayden-Hock first,... Read more →


If you asked me to combine three of my favorite things (Italy, good gluten free food, and yoga), what you'd have is this incredible journey that recently came to my attention. Janice Veech (a.k.a. Go Yogi Chef) is a classically trained chef and certified yoga instructor who is leading her second gluten free journey to Umbria, Italy, an incredibly beautiful area of northern Italy known for its medieval villages, vineyards, and rich history. She partners with a local guide to deliver an authentic Italian experience. This gluten free Culinary Travel Adventure , scheduled for October 14-21, 2017, takes advantage of a time when there will be fewer crowds and ideal weather. Umbria's authentic Italian culture gives it a "frozen in time" appeal, and you'll stay in a private agriturismo in the countryside overlooking Assisi for the seven-day trip. Each morning, you'll have the opportunity to start your day with yoga (which, at the very least, will allow you to give yourself permission to enjoy all the glorious food later in the day!). Each day will be a journey to explore the region's history during Etruscan and Roman times, as well as its modern day culture. Activities include trips to charming... Read more →


You probably remember my Blog post detailing my family's trip to Italy this past summer. It was so fantastic, from a gluten free dining perspective, that I wrote a book about it (Gluten-Free in ITALY : Your Worry-Free and Gluten-Free Travel Guide to Italy), available on Amazon. But I'm often asked...of all the places we dined in Rome, Florence, and Venice, which was our favorite spot? Who had the best (and safest) gluten free offerings? In Rome, at least, I'd have to say it was a small chain of restaurants known as Mama Eat and Mama Frites. It was pure serendipity that we ended up eating at these two restaurants while in Rome. I'd heard about both restaurants and had included them on our list of places to potentially try while in Rome. However, I wasn't sure if it would work out, based on where we planned to be sightseeing each day. As luck would have it, after touring the Vatican for several hours one morning, a nearby gluten-free friendly restaurant where we'd planned to have lunch closed for renovation. We were starving, but we decided to continue with our day's plans and head south to Trastevere, an ancient and... Read more →


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 →


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 →


Almost every day, we hear about another great place for gluten-free travelers…and I get so excited to share these discoveries with you. That's our mission here at Gluten Free Travel Blog -- and also on our website GlutenFreeTravelSite…to help you take a true vacation from worry. We want to help you find places where you won't have to educate chefs or ask a zillion questions before each meal…places that give you confidence and let you forget about your dietary restrictions. That's why today, I'd like to recap some recent discoveries -- and also remind you of where to go to get more travel ideas on our website. Just a couple weeks ago, we announced a new itinerary for gluten free travel to Croatia, but are you aware of the other special itineraries for places outside the U.S. detailed on the Gluten Free Getaways page of our site? Keep in mind, these aren't "group" trips…you can follow the suggested itinerary developed by Celiac travel agent Ellen Morse OR customize it according to your own budget and interests -- AND pick your own dates of travel. Like cruising? If so, you're in luck…cruises are one of the most "gluten-free friendly" ways to... Read more →


If you've missed the last few Gluten Free Culinary Getaways sponsored by Jovial Foods in Tuscany, Italy, you have another chance to experience their week of pure bliss...from October 11-18, 2014. Ah...the Fall in Tuscany...what could be more magical? Similar to their previous gluten free getaways, this week-long experience will find you staying in an 18th century villa in Lucca, Italy -- the heart of Tuscany. You'll learn how to cook traditional Italian specialties from Carla, the founder of Jovial Foods, who learned to cook from the older genration of Italians over the past 25 years. Best of all, everything you make and savor will be gluten free! Imagine learning to make authentic, artisan breads and pastas gluten free. You'll bring this knowledge back with you to impress your family and friends for years to come! The week is the perfect balance between Old World charm and modern amenities at the villa (like their state-of-the-art kitchen) and also the perfect balance between learning, relaxation, and exploring. For those interested, there is the option of day-trips by car, bus, or train to nearby favorites like Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, and Siena. Carla's hands-on cooking classes will make you feel like you're... Read more →