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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Sep-18 > QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Our experts are here to help with all your questions about Italy. This month we look at gluten-free diets in Italy, bespoke holiday services and work visas…
Italy caters well to those on a gluten-free diet

HOLIDAYING GLUTEN-FREE

QThis year my daughter turns 18 and we are travelling around Italy before she goes to university. A coeliac since childhood, she has to avoid gluten. How easy is it to find gluten-free foods in Italy, especially when eating out? Kate Moore, by email

A In the motherland of pizza, pasta and focaccia, you might well assume that it would be difficult to eat gluten-free in Italy. But far from it, according to chef Ambra Torelli, who spoke to our sister magazine Gluten-Free Heaven. “Thanks to the Italian Celiac Association (AIC), who has been raising awareness and inspiring laws for the protection of people with gluten related issues for over 30 years, Italy has plenty of choices for eating out while avoiding gluten,” she says. “All the restaurants, pizzerias, bakeries and hotels that are permitted to brand themselves as gluten-free friendly have to follow the strict AIC training programme, and they are monitored at least once a year to ensure the non-contamination of their food. Even in cases in which you find yourself in a non-certified GF restaurant, speak to the manager. Since 90 per cent of these businesses are family run and most of the food is prepared from scratch, they will most likely be able to put together a safe meal.” Apparently there are more than 3,800 eateries all over Italy that have joined the AIC gluten-free eating out programme, and this number is on the rise. When you enter a restaurant, Ambra suggests you alert the staff to your issues with gluten (you can either say: ‘Sono celiaco’ – ‘I am coeliac’, or ‘Sono intollerante al glutine’ – ‘I am intolerant to gluten’). They’ll accommodate you if they can, or point you to a nearby spot where it is okay for you to eat. This website is helpful too: www.ristorantiperceliaci.net Finding coeliac-friendly products is quite simple too. All the largest supermarket chains (such as Coop, Conad, Crai, Esselunga, Carrefour and Ali) have a dedicated glutenfree aisle, and in most cases have their own lines of gluten-free products. You can read the full article here: www.freefromheaven.com/2016/07/eating-gluten-free-in-italy Amanda Robinson, Italia! Magazine

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About Italia!

The Dolomites are a popular summer retreat for many Italians. We’ll show you how walking takes precedence over the winter activities we usually associate with this beautiful region. We also visit the secret green spaces of Italy’s cities, perfect oases if you are taking a summer city break. And we visit Matera, a city once known as ‘the shame of Italy’ but now set to become the European Capital of Culture.