I just came back from 10 days in Italy and wanted to share with you all how I got along. Thankfully I made it through almost symptom free with just some bloating… which was only due to all the pizza I ate. So much pizza!
If you speak Italian eating out is fairly easy however if you don’t things may get tricky. I was quite surprised that most people particularly in Como did not speak any English. In Bellagio, Milan and Florence more people could speak Italian. So in case you are going to visit Italy here are a few helpful phrases:
‘senza lattosio’ : lactose free
‘senza aglio’: without garlic
‘senza cipolla’ : without onion
‘senza glutina’ : gluten free
When it came to ice-cream some places offered only one lactose free flavour; usually a lemon sorbet but in others all fruit flavours were lactose free. The shops do not tend to mark the lactose free ones but could always tell me which ones were lactose free when I asked. In the photo below you can see some of the amazing flavours I had. The wafer does contain wheat and milk so you should avoid it if you have coeliac’s disease or you’re sensitive to wheat and lactose even in small amounts.
Here is a list of the ice-cream places to look out for around Lake Como, Milan and Florence.
Como: Gelateria Lariana. All fruit flavours and the dark chocolate and lactose free
Lenno: La Fabbrica del gelato. All fruit flavours are lactose free.
Milan: Il Granaio. The mandarin sorbet is to die for!
Florence: Coronas cafe. All fruit flavours are lactose free.
But there are ice-cream places everywhere you look, so just ask for lactose free.
For the main meals there were usually suitable salad, fish and meat dishes on the menus. However since I reintroduced wheat I did eat a lot of pizzas. Way too many to be honest! Below you can see two of the FODMAP friendly dishes I had; a beef fillet and grilled prawns.
However one of my favourite meals was at a wine bar where we ordered some antipasto dishes with cured meats, salami and cheese. Simple but delicious! and surprisingly many salamis did not contain onion or garlic. I am currently regretting not buying some from one of the local street markets.
When it comes the places we stayed at mostly offered an array of high fodmap foods for breakfast; bread, croissant, yoghurt, biscuits, muffins etc. Usually the low fodmap option was fruit. So I would recommend contacting the hotel in advance to see what options are available for breakfast. In some places we did not pay for breakfast and opted to have breakfast out instead. Cafes usually offered egg dishes for breakfast.
Please do post any comments below if you have any questions.