Last week, I already shared my experiences with eating low FODMAP and gluten-free at Lake Garda with you and today I have the third blog post in the series Eating low FODMAP and gluten-free in Italy for you! My experiences in the Cinque Terre during the last part of my holiday.
The Cinque Terre are five towns at the Ligurian coast, south of Genua. Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Five picturesque towns on the mountains at the sea with lots of colourful houses. It looks amazing and therefore the Cinque Terre is quite a popular holiday destination. We stayed a bit below the Cinque Terre in La Spezia. Just as at Lake Garda, we slept in an Airbnb with our own kitchen. This Airbnb was a lot smaller and less beautiful than the other one (but that one was very hard to beat) and was situated high on the hills in the town Manarola, therefore, we could only reach the apartment by climbing very long steep stone stairs.
Just as in Lake Garda, I already did some research before going on holiday for restaurants that serve gluten-free food. A great resource for this is the website of the Italian Celiac federation: Associazione Italiana Celiachia. On their website, you can search for restaurants that are certified for serving gluten-free food for every region of Italy. On our first day, we went for lunch at one of these restaurants immediately. We went to Pizzeria Bella Napoli (Via Gramsci – La Spezia). They had a special gluten-free menu here and I ordered a pizza margarita. Contrary to my first gluten-free pizza in Italy, this one was very soft. It was more like a huge soft bread with topping than a pizza, but it was very good.
In La Spezia, we did our groceries at supermarket Coop. Here they had plenty of choice for gluten-free products, just as in the other Italian supermarkets we visited. Bread, sweet snacks, rice thins, crackers and pasta.
The region Cinque Terre is known for its foccacia’s and farinata’s. And those farinata’s turned out to be gluten-free. Farinata is a kind of pancake made of chickpea flour. Unfortunately, chickpea flour is not low FODMAP. It hasn’t been officially testes, but the expectation is that it is not low FODMAP. I have tried the farinata and I tolerated it quite well. It is very special, because of the flavour of the chickpeas, but I absolutely loved it! If you only have to eat gluten-free or if you know that you tolerate chickpeas, this is highly recommended to try! At some places the even serve it as a kind of pizza with soft white cheese or pesto on top of it.
Of course, a holiday in Italy won’t be a real holiday in Italy without Italian gelato. I love ice cream. I think this is my all-time favourite snack, especially if it is Italian ice cream. On holiday I prefer to eat at least one ice cream a day. Luckily they are very clear about ingredients in Italy and this is great for people with allergies or intolerances. At most ice cream shops the allergens are mentioned with the different ice cream flavours and usually they also have several kinds of sorbet ice cream that are lactose-free. I prefer eating flavours with chocolate and stracciatella ice cream, so I usually take a lactase pill when I eat ice cream and this works fine for me. Make sure to avoid ice cream flavours with things such as cookies in it and fruit flavours of high FODMAP fruits. At one ice cream shop in Riomaggiore, I found cookie ice cream that was made with gluten-free cookies, so that was a nice one that I could try!
I secretly tried this one too, because ICECREAM WITH CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER, AHH! As far as I could see the only FODMAP in this ice cream was lactose and to avoid getting problems from that I used my lactase pills again.
That was part three of my series eating low FODMAP and gluten-free in Italy! Part one of this series was my holiday in Bologna last year and part two was the blog post about Lake Garda that I shared with you last week! What are your experiences with eating low FODMAP and gluten-free in Italy or in another country on holiday?