Gluten Free in Rome & Florence & Lucca

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. We paid for all of our meals ourselves. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend restaurants that I love. Some restaurants in this post are 100% gluten free. Some have shared facilities and are extremely careful about preventing cross contact. Reminder – always do your own research before visiting a restaurant. Allergen policies and ingredients can change at any time.

Kris and I went on our dream honeymoon in Italy! I did so much preparation for this trip, and we had a ball. Over the past few weeks on Instagram/Facebook I’ve been posting a detailed recap of our adventures, sights we saw, places we stayed, and the many gluten free pizzas we ate. Below is a compilation of notable restaurants we visited.

Eating gluten free in Italy was so EASY. In the US the gluten free diet is often considered a joke and a fad, but Italy as a whole takes celiac disease extremely seriously. Celiac is very prevalent in Italians, and when someone is diagnosed they get a government stipend to purchase gluten free food in a pharmacy (photo below!). The attitude in restaurants is also different. Making food for someone is more than a business – it’s an expression of community. Inclusiveness and kindness are other words that come to mind. No, not all restaurants are able to accommodate, but there are so many that do. They do it because they care. Italy cares.

One of our most valuable tools for navigating the gluten free restaurant/bakery scene in Italy was the AIC app – The AIC is the Italian Coeliac Association, and their app features a giant map of Italy and all of the restaurants that participate in the Gluten Free Eating Out program. There are more than 4,000 restaurants and bakeries that the AIC has given their stamp of approval to! Since our trip, the app has gone through some changes concerning subscriptions, but I believe there is still an option to download/use it as a visitor/tourist. Trust me, get this app. Most of the restaurants I discuss in this post are listed there.

Rome

Mama Eat

Our hotel in the Trastevere was just a few blocks away from Mama Eat (yes, we planned this), which was at the very top of our list to visit. Mama Eat was by far our favorite restaurant, and we visited a total of four times. The gluten free pizza was simply incredible. It was the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. The crust was fluffy, chewy and flavorful – totally different than in the US where the crust is often just a vehicle for cheese. Here the crust meant something. It was all part of the balance of flavors and textures. It was beautiful, and I dream about their four cheese pizza every night. The house sparkling white wine was amazing (and 4 euro a glass!), and we had some excellent appetizers/sides. The tiramisu was one of the best we have ever eaten, and it was here that we fell in love with limoncello. We plan to go back again and again.

404 Name Not Found

(Recommendation for coffee/wine only – we didn’t eat here) We enjoyed excellent cappuccino at 404 Name Not Found every morning. It’s an adorable little cafe in the Trastevere that has great wine at night. Note the hilarious sign about their cocktails.

Pandali

Pandali is an excellent choice for a quick lunch near the Pantheon. And it’s 100% gluten free! We ordered eggplant parmesan, a small calzone, and their last bomboloni. We were super pleased and will be back.

Pizza in Trevi

As we were walking near the Trevi Fountain, Kris stopped near a cute pizza restaurant and commented on how amazing it smelled. I said, “OMG that’s Pizza in Trevi! It’s in the AIC app!” It was a moment when I appreciated how many gluten free options Rome has. We sat down and mentioned “senza glutine.” I was super impressed with their responsiveness and enthusiasm for their gluten free service. The flavors were excellent, as was the house white wine, service and location. We highly recommend Pizza in Trevi!

Le Altre Farine del Mulino

I walked forty-five minutes each way to get to this 100% gluten free bakery near the Vatican, and it was so worth it. When I got to Le Altre Farine Del Mulino I was overwhelmed and overjoyed. Rows and rows of beautiful pastries, a super nice staff, and they filled cannolis to order! I got a little overexcited, and bought one of most things (not quite one of everything). You know that feeling of “when am I ever going to find gluten free XYZ again?!?!?!” Yeah…..we definitely went back the next day. It’s an incredible bakery. They make different things throughout the day (breakfast pastries in the morning, pizza in the afternoon, desserts all day long), so I’ll look forward to visiting again earlier in the morning (I had missed out on the croissants). Kris and I particularly loved their bread, brioche, cannoli, filled mini pastries and tarts. Highly recommend this bakery!

La Soffita Renovatio

We heard wonderful things about La Soffitta Renovatio, and it has a convenient location near the Vatican. At that point in our trip, we decided that we had eaten so much pizza and should try a few pasta dishes. We really enjoyed Kris’s all’amatriciana, but in all honesty I was very disappointed with the ravioli. We’d go back to try the pizza.

Pantha Rei

I stumbled across Pantha Rei on the AIC app. It took us ten minutes to find the correct street near the Pantheon, but we were so happy we found it. We had an amazing lunch consisting of an incredible cheese plate, a great all’amatriciana pasta dish, and wonderful house wine. We loved our lunch so much that we had to go back for dinner the next day. The gluten free pasta and ravioli were amazing, as was the house white wine and desserts. We adored the quaint outdoor seating, and the staff was lovely. One of our favorite things – Pantha Rei is located down a tiny street near the Pantheon, but the sounds from the Pantheon’s busy piazza somehow don’t make it to our table. What did carry over was the sound from a neighboring piazza – a violinist playing “Hallelujah.” It was a romantic and beautiful evening. Overall, this was one of our very favorite restaurants, and we’ll definitely come back on our next trip!

La Pasticciera

Located near Roma Termini (the main train station) you’ll find an adorable little 100% gluten free bakery called La Pasticciera. It was beautiful! Rows and rows of gorgeous gluten free cakes! I had never seen anything like it! We chose a few snacks and asked them to pack up whatever would stay freshest the next day for our flight home. OH. MY. GOODNESS. You must visit this bakery! The croissants were the most amazing I have ever eaten, and they were just as heavenly the next day. We had an incredible cannoli, and the “crostatina di visciole” (sour cherry pie) was a magical experience. I wish we had ordered two or three of everything! This is a definite must-visit and was one of our very favorite bakeries. We can’t wait to return!

Fatamorgana

Gluten free cones! We appreciated that Fatamorgana is 100% gluten free, and they have multiple locations throughout Rome. We tried several flavors including mint chocolate chip, chocolate, tiramisu, and vanilla with raspberry sauce and apples.

Grom

Also 100% gluten free with gluten free cones and lots of locations throughout Italy.

Fiocco Di Neve

I present to you the best gelato in Rome! Kris and I visited three different 100% gluten free gelato spots, and by far our favorite was Fiocco Di Neve near the Pantheon. My favorite combination was Nutella Ferrero (vanilla/nutella) and Amarena (black cherry) in a gluten free cone. The staff was always super nice and enthusiastic. We loved eating our gelato in Pantheon’s piazza. It was such a funny juxtaposition – the ancient grey building with gigantic columns surrounded by people in shorts and dresses, eating gelato and sipping cocktails.

Tarano (short train ride away from Rome)

Relais Borgo Gentile

Kris and I took a quick train from Rome to the small town of Tarano. There we spent two blissful evenings at Relais Borgo Gentile. It was a total dream. It’s a 100% gluten free bed and breakfast run by a dietician/couple who were incredibly sweet and excited to meet gluten free people from around the world. We had a stunning room with a private deck, and the pool was just a few steps away. We made friends with another couple from Australia and shared a bottle of Prosecco on their patio as the sun went down. Breakfast and dinner were served inside the main house. The food! Dinner included a fresh bread basket, pasta course, entree, side, and dessert, and it was some of the best food we had on our entire trip. The gnocchi was so fluffy, I thought it would float up into the air like clouds! We tried a lot of all’amatriciana dishes in Rome, and this was by far the best (we’re still dreaming of it). We adored the chocolate crepes, and the tiramisu may have been the best we’ve ever had. The breakfast buffet was overwhelming – so many stunning gluten free pastries! It was heaven. We can’t wait to go back!

Florence

Starbene

We had two eateries on our list for Florence that we were dying to try, and one of them was Starbene – a 100% gluten free bakery. We tried a few different things and enjoyed them all. There are several Starbenes across Italy, and it’s worth the visit.

Ciro & Sons

I’ve been following Ciro & Sons on Instagram for a while. I love how enthusiastic the staff is when it comes to gluten free food and meeting visitors from around the world. We had a lovely dinner featuring a bottle of our favorite wine, a four cheese pizza, a calzone, cheesecake and chocolate crepe. It was a great meal!

Lucca

There were plenty of gluten free options in this small town including at least two Michelin Star restaurants that were listed in the AIC app. One of them (Ristorante Giglio) had a wine list that was several dozen pages long, and they made the tiniest gluten free tortellini I have ever seen. Buca di S. Antonio was the other Michelin Star restaurant, which had a nice ambiance and good gluten free ravioli. (Sorry no photos of these)

Da Gherardo

Located in the main piazza of Lucca, you can’t miss the signs advertising for gluten free pizza at Da Gherardo . This was our favorite restaurant in Lucca, and we enjoyed sitting outside and people-watching while enjoying chewy and delicious gluten free pizza with friends. The flavors here were excellent!

Have you been to any of these restaurants? Got more recommendations? Let me know! And please feel free to reach out if you’re planning your own trip to Italy and have questions. I’m happy to help! We’re already planning our return trip to Rome and cannot wait.

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