I’m in work overdrive right now, preparing for the launch of my first novel, The Damage Done. (Publishers Weekly has called it a “razor sharp mystery debut”!) In the meantime, the very thoughtful Alice — who reviewed Machiavelli Restaurant in Montreal for the Gluten-Free Guidebook — has written another report, this time focusing on her trip to Italy. Thanks so much for sharing all of these places with us, Alice!
Alice’s Report on Gluten-Free Dining in Italy
Osteria Il Campino, Via Vittorio Veneto 29, 53100 Siena (Tel: 0577-236545).
The restaurant had a wonderful selection of gluten-free dishes, but I was excited to see a GF pasta dish on the menu and a couple of desserts that I could enjoy. They even provided me with GF bread to accompany my meal. Our waitress spoke English and was very helpful indeed. I enquired where I could purchase some GF bread nearby and she told me that the main distributor of glutenfree products in Italy is a pharmacy. Before we left the restaurant she packed up the remainder of the loaf and gave it to me. I was truly touched by the gesture. I highly recommend this restaurant. Prices were very reasonable.
Ristorante Cavour, Viale Angelo Crtesi, 91 A, Todi. Tel: 075-8943730
Beautiful restaurant, serving typical Umbrian dishes, with a beautiful garden and panoramic views from their windows, located in the historical center of Todi. They have a gluten free menu. Prices very reasonable.
In Florence we tried the following gluten-free restaurants:
Il Portale Trattoria & Pizzeria, Via Luigi Alammani 29, 50123 Firenze, Tel: 055212992
I enjoyed their gluten-free pasta dishes. It was a real treat. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and is located close to the main train station.
If you desire a classier décor, beautiful presentations, good food, but higher prices, then I recommend:
I Quattro Amici, Via degli Orti Oricellari 29, Firenze, Tel: 055-215413
Trattoria Dall’Amelia, Via Miranese 113, 30174 Mestre VE, Tel: 041-5441111 (www.dallamelia.it)
This restaurant has a wonderful ambiance, great selection of seafood, and a broad selection of gluten-free dishes, including pasta. It opens only at 8 PM. It is a bit pricey but wonderful food. The restaurant is located in a residential district on the mainland of Venice, so I recommend going there by taxi.
For anyone travelling to Venice, it is a must to visit a wonderful shop called “Mea Libera Tutti!!” The shop consists of two rooms filled with a wonderful array of products and everything is gluten free. I wish I could find a shop like this in North America. The owner is very charming, helpful & knowledgeable about all her products. Her young son has celiac disease and that inspired her to open this shop. I actually purchased an extra suitcase to be able to bring home some of her delicious products.
Mea Libera Tutti!!, Cannadegio Calle Racchetta – Calle Priuli 3803, Venezia Tel:041 5210454
Please also inform your readers travelling to Italy that the majority of gluten-free products are sold at the local pharmacy. They may not be displayed in the store because of shortage of space. You must ask for “senza glutine” products and they will bring them out for you from their storage room.