I was very lucky to attend a wedding in Tuscany last weekend and being the first time I had traveled to Italy since being diagnosed I was interested to see how I would cope being gluten free. I had heard that Italy is incredibly aware of coeliac disease and in fact all children are tested for the disease prior to starting kindergarten. My verdict? The Italians could not have been more accommodating. We spent four nights in Tuscany, one of which was spent in beautiful Siena. On arrival at Pisa airport we headed off to see the leaning tower as one does and stumbled upon a pharmacy – this is where lots of gluten free products are stocked so I headed in. They had lots of choice but as I didn’t need to stock up on pasta my eyes were drawn to the sweet treats of course!

These were delicious and I demolished nearly all of the box by time we had reached our next stop in Florence. They were similar to a shortbread biscuit with a lovely chocolate centre. We stopped briefly in Florence for some lunch and stumbled upon a restaurant called Il Portale. I asked the waiter if anything was ‘senza glutine’ and he promptly brought over my own menu. I had a huge choice but went for a simple pasta dish accompanied but a gluten free beer. It was incredibly tasty and the pasta was cooked for the perfect length of time. In Siena we dined in a restaurant called Vivace, on this occasion I opted for a healthier dish of grilled snapper – again, delicious.

The next couple of days were spent at the wedding venue near Sarteano where I was incredibly well catered for. I had exactly the same as the other guests and I was in heaven. Pizza was served on the first evening and it was hands down the best pizza I have ever eaten. The day of the wedding we had two pasta courses followed by a meat dish and again all courses were to die for. I did not feel excluded in any way whatsoever and thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful. We were staying in a self catering apartment hence took a trip into nearby Sarteano to see what gluten free goodies we could source. We went to the local co-op which was by no means huge but this is what I found:

Even in the tiny village of Radicofani in a corner shop they had a small selection of gluten free products. I fell in love with these:

In essence, I would not hesitate travelling to Italy again and rest assured you will be incredibly well catered for.

Claire xx

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