Need some advice about upcoming vacation... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-24-2005, 07:22 AM
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I wanted to post this in the regional forums but there was not a thread for Italy, so I hope it's OK here!



I'm going to Rome and Florence for vacation for 10 days and just now realized it's coming up in a few weeks and I am hardly prepared. I am concerned about food, obviously, because I know Italians LOVE cheese, milk and meat.



Fortunately, I speak Italian...enough to explain dietary preferences, order train tickets, barter while shopping, etc. I was just wondering if anyone has been to Rome and had no problems maintaining a vegan diet? I'm concerned about hidden ingredients, especially (eggs in pasta, bread, etc.).



If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it! Even if you haven't been to Rome/Florence specifically and just want to share your experiences in terms of vegan eating in a foreign country, it might help lessen my anxiety a little. I have no concerns about the usual things that most tourists would worry about in Rome (like language/culture barriers or getting pick-pocketed!) yet I am slightly concerned about the food issue. If I have to live on fruit and bread for 10 days, so be it, but I certainly hope I can experience life to the fullest as best I can while I am there.



THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!
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#2 Old 04-24-2005, 07:43 AM
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try this link:

http://www.vegetarian-restaurants.net/Europe/Italy.htm



Most of the restaurants listed seem to be veggie, but you should have some luck there.
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#3 Old 04-25-2005, 12:49 PM
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I just got back from Ireland and Scotland and it was pretty easy to maintain a vegan diet. The only problem I had was on the flight over, I lived off of Clif bars during that time. I found a lot of restraunts were very catering and it seemed like everything was labeled clearly. I thought it was going to be all fish and chips and whatnot but it turned out to be quite nice.
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#4 Old 04-25-2005, 01:16 PM
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I was wasn't vegan yet when I visited Italy, but I was vegetarian and didn't have too many problems. Just check your food really well before you eat and hope for the best, kind of like you have to in America.

On the flight over I did request a vegan meal, and got one at dinner but for breakfast they gave me a real butter crossant, and while this wasn't a problem for me at the time it would be a problem for you so you might want to specify all meals wehn making your reservation.
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#5 Old 04-25-2005, 02:34 PM
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I saved that link, Schoska, and plan on taking that list along! The Florence list was impressive!



I'm sure I will be fine, and feel reassured by your words. I think a big city like Rome/Florence won't be too hard, I read that they are pretty accomodating to veg*ns overall. I also found something called the Vegan Passport, which I may end up buying before I leave (although I think I can order food "senza formaggio, senza latte, etc." and explain I am a strict vegetarian without needing the passport...at least, I hope so! I don't even know if there is an Italian word for vegan! I should consult my handy dandy dictionary, wherever it may be from my college days); you can order it from Food Fight's online store for 6 dollars.



BTW, I'm taking a red eye to Rome so I will probably not even eat on the flight. I'll probably just drink lots of free wine and sleep. Gotta love Air France!
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#6 Old 04-25-2005, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucrecia View Post

I wanted to post this in the regional forums but there was not a thread for Italy, so I hope it's OK here!



I'm going to Rome and Florence for vacation for 10 days and just now realized it's coming up in a few weeks and I am hardly prepared. I am concerned about food, obviously, because I know Italians LOVE cheese, milk and meat.



Fortunately, I speak Italian...enough to explain dietary preferences, order train tickets, barter while shopping, etc. I was just wondering if anyone has been to Rome and had no problems maintaining a vegan diet? I'm concerned about hidden ingredients, especially (eggs in pasta, bread, etc.).



If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it! Even if you haven't been to Rome/Florence specifically and just want to share your experiences in terms of vegan eating in a foreign country, it might help lessen my anxiety a little. I have no concerns about the usual things that most tourists would worry about in Rome (like language/culture barriers or getting pick-pocketed!) yet I am slightly concerned about the food issue. If I have to live on fruit and bread for 10 days, so be it, but I certainly hope I can experience life to the fullest as best I can while I am there.



THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!



*First of all congratulations on your upcoming trip. Italians are known throughout for living life to it's fullest whatever the circumstances. They are also known for their beautiful people and having seen your avatar--you will no doubt fit right in

I don't travel and have never really had a vacation (we didn't even have a honeymoon....) so I'm afraid I'm not much help--ha!

Bread, fruit, salads, pasta with a little olive oil and basil and garlic isn't a bad way to go for a few weeks--I'm sure everywhere you go there will be something to enjoy.

Have a wonderful time and a safe trip


Peace and stay Zen,

Jo
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#7 Old 04-25-2005, 04:58 PM
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I lived in Rome for about 5 months and experienced very few problems. There were a couple of vegans on my study-away program and they found life and eating a little harder but not terrible.



My tips:



1.Learn lots of the words for seafood. When I told waiters I was "vegetariana" I often ended up with food containing traces of seafood. Fish, at least in Italy, *is* vegetarian.

2. An additional tip based on #1: the word for fish is pesce, the word for peach is pesce, they're pronounced differently. Make sure you know which pronunciation is which before you order. Several times I apparently told waiters that I emphatically could not have pasta with peaches and got pasta with fish in the sauce!

3. If you're a coffee fan, don't expect soy milk in the bars. Espresso all the way!

4. Check out the market in Rome at Campo d'Fiori, the tastiness is extreme.

5. Imbibe copious amounts of blood orange juice, it's awesome!

6. If you have time, Rome has an awesome museum devoted to the history of pasta. A whole museum on pasta. Where else will you have a chance to see a museum exhibit on How Pasta Will Save the World.

7. Lastly, just be super clear when you order and as polite as you can make it in a foreign language. Pretty much every restaurant we went to really wanted to see people enjoy the food so they accomodated our dietary needs. Besides, it's Rome and Florence, the Italians there speak a good amount of English and you likely won't be the first vegan in their restaurant.



Have fun!
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#8 Old 04-25-2005, 04:58 PM
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Thanks for your warm wishes, Jo. Heehee, my avatar is actually of a character from a video game (Final Fantasy X). I only wish I was half as attractive as her.



My husband and I blended in seamlessly while in Germany (he is 100% German blooded and I have a blend of Native American and European mutt...meaning there's probably a about 5 different countries on my mother's side , but I look very Irish overall); people came up to us all the time asking US for directions in German! Meanwhile we were like two village idiots just smiling and explaining in broken German that we didn't speak German too well. I seriously doubt we will physically blend in so well in Italy, but I am at least hoping we can pass for Europeans (sneakers are a dead giveaway that you are an American tourist...we actually play "Spot the American" when we are on vacation : ) while we are there.



Oh, and the idea of living on olive oil and garlic, bread, salald, fruits, veggies and wine sounds like an ideal plan to me! I only wish pesto didn't sometimes have cheese in it; I buy a brand from Trader Joe's that is vegan and have not seen much more in terms of vegan pesto, so I will probably avoid it.



VeggieBiker: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Your advice is GREAT and I appreciate your help. "Pe-SHAY" is fish and "Pes-KAY" is peach, correct? I haven't spoken Italian in a while, it's been a good year and a half so I am definitely rusty.
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#9 Old 04-25-2005, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucrecia View Post






VeggieBiker: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Your advice is GREAT and I appreciate your help. "Pe-SHAY" is fish and "Pes-KAY" is peach, correct? I haven't spoken Italian in a while, it's been a good year and a half so I am definitely rusty.



Oh, and looking for jeans in Italy is another good way to spot the tourists!
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