Senza glutine: The Magic Phrase

It’s three am and I can’t fall asleep for some reason. It’s partly jetlag but it’s also because I’m so excited for my next restaurant meal! I think I’ve found a little phrase that is going to make eating in Italy easier for me. (Note, I have tested negative for celiac disease but most foods with gluten give me all sorts of tummy issues. My goals for this trip are to avoid gluten-brain, food babies, and other tummy discomfort when possible.)

Months ago, I put Pimsleur Italian I mp3s on my computer with the intent of learning some basic Italian. After my weekly Chinese lessons started, those plans flew out the window.  Luckily however, one of the key phrases I did pick up included “senza glutine.” I’m not sure if it’s spelled correctly, but that’s how I remembered the pronunciation and I can proudly say that every Italian I’ve spoken to understands exactly what it means!

Our first meal in Italy was at La Scaletta (close to the church for St. Maddelena on via Della Maddalena 46/49). In addition to our spaghetti, we had GF bruschetta. It was so good that Joshua ate the tomato even after all the bread was finished.

Below are our spaghetti, bacon, egg, and parmesan cheese entrees. Can you tell which one is gluten-free?


The first one!


Our first gelato was at Grom. We got espresso and pistachio. My friend was right, – Italian gelato is not as sweet as gelato in the US, but the flavors are so much more complex. My husband said that eating the pistachio flavor left him feeling like he had actually eaten a handful of pistachios. The best part is that I didn’t have any negative reaction to it – no tummy pains like ice cream. I guess I will try every Grom flavor! I’m not going to try any non-Grom gelato because I read on chowhound that other brands sometimes put wheat-based stuff in their gelato. I havent verified that, but Grom guarantees that their gelato is gluten-free.


Some gluten-free goodies at Delspar market.


Some additional travel notes in order…

Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam was crazy. To be more specific, the security check point people were nuts. In addition to electronic devices, we had to remove every headset and charger. And they went through each person’s bag manually before putting it through the x-ray to make sure that we didn’t forget anything. Other than the crazy and long check point, there were lots of cute dutch things like tons of chocolate and even a cheese bar. We also saw teacups at this one cafeteria place, Wasabi flavored cheese, and of course joshua picked up the insulated glass cups.


We are using AirBNB and the apartment we are staying in is on the oldest street in Rome according to everyone in the neighborhood.  Our place is actually a historical preservation site or something and there’s even a glass panel in the floor where you can see some old artifacts. It’s very close to La Travestere, great restaurants, and very convenient to all the sites.


We were really beat after the sleepless plane ride. Some photos from our evening walk below.


St. Maria Maddelena





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s