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I'm visiting Italy soon, and I was wondering how easy it is to find vegetarian places to eat. I'll be in Rome mostly, but I also want to explore the smaller hill towns. My diet is simple; as long as there are fresh fruits, I'm happy. But it would be nice to check out some restaurants, too. Grazie
Anche, sto provando ad imparare parlare italiano (evidente?) Del consiglio?
You have to understand Italy was practically my first word once out of the birth canal. I studied the language (and the men ) for 6 years in school. I won Italian poetry and cooking awards, but nothing has satiated my thirst.
Anyway, now I get to go during Carnivale. I'm going to Venice, Ravenna, Padua, Verona, Lake Como, Pisa, Florence and Cortina.
The second I decided to go (mentally) an Italian man "noticed" me on one of my veggie dating sites. This trip is so destined. If I like it enough and figure out why I am so drawn to Italy, I could get my job to transfer me there in the next few years. I'm bursting at the seams you guys!!
Maybe I'll even meet that Italian vegetarian. I've found 2 separate Italian vegetarian "societies". The Italian Vegetarian Society and the Association of Italian Vegetarians. They both seem to say that there is still a big problem with schools, hospitals and government agencies not offering a suitable vegetarian option. However the restaurants, fast food places and even gas stations offer viable veggie, vegan, and even macrobiotic alternatives.
I don't see any issue with my trip. Wish I knew I was traveling with more veggies. Maybe I'll post something on one of those Italian boards and see if someone wants to sign up for a vacation in their own country.
Vegetarian and Vegan is pretty easy in Roma. Real Italian cuisine is plant based
Stay at the Beehive, a veggie hotel/restaurant near Termini station. http://www.the-beehive.com/
For eats, try L'Insalata Ricca near Capo Fiori, Arancia Blu on San Lorenzo, and Margutta near the Spanish Steps (direction of Piazza del Poppolo on a side street to the right).
Be very, very careful that you are not pickpocketed on the metropolitana - they are world class thieves. I used to watch people get robbed every day and before you can react, they're gone.
If you are going to the Vatican museum, go early, don't take the audio guide (which you must backtrack to return), and once you are done in the Sistine Chapel, go out the back door which takes you right into St Peters.
Stroll down the via del Corso at the end of the day (as the Romans do)- its great fun.
Enjoy a late sunny afternoon on the Piazza Navona.
Go buy some fresh veggies at Campo Fiore - but get there early!
Set aside a full day for the Colosseo and Palatine Hill but start at Palatine and buy your day pass there (the line is much shorter). Then, when you go to the Colosseo, bypass the long lines by going to the left of them and going straight in (with your ticket). Decent eats nearby are avaialble at Cafe Studente (up the steps behind the Colosseo metro stop) or at The Sitar (Indian) across the street in the direction of Piazza Venezia.
I used to live in Rome and still live in Italy so send me a PM if you need more info. Non ce problemi!
Veronica puts up a few new tasty recipes a few times each week.
Il Margutta Ristorante- someone mentioned this in a previous post, but it's a very chic restaurant. i actually brought some meat eaters along and one ordered seitan and loved it. their vegan cake isn't that good though, but oh well. it was nice eating there, overall.
Bio Forneria e Gastronomia- this one is actually in Sorrento, and it's delicious. it's very small, quaint, and not-touristy. so the prices are quite low. i got dinner with a full plate of food, dessert, and a drink for about 10 euro. and everything is delicious, changes day to day, and is organic. highly recommended. oh, and delicous apple spelt cake in italy while on a school trip? yes please.
Since then, I've become muuuuccch more aware and stricter about 'secret' animal products. I love love love pizza with all my tiny heart, but everytime I am in a restaurant anywhere, there is always a 'huh?' or language barrier (I speak some French, but my French lessons at school traumatised me!) about whether the cheese contains rennet.
So, does anyone know of any restaurants in Rome that use mozzarella that doesn't contain rennet? I don't just want to be having marinaras the whole time!
Also, how common is egg free pasta in Roman restaurants? Has anyone has any luck specifying for egg-free pasta?
If you want to try an omni place you can ask if the cheese is 'caglio vegetale' (made without rennet)
I've had a look at the happycow listings already, but I thought I may encounter the problem found in the UK sometimes, even if a cheese dish is labelled as vegetarian, the waiters/chef etc are unsure whether it has rennet in, like its a communication problem or ignorance in the supply chain.
I've downloaded the menu of the Il Marguetta, looks very nice for my actual birthday, I'm not sure that our budget will stretch to similar restaurant price tags. If only the hostel had a kitchen!
I'm going to be in Rome next week for six days. I'm going to try to take a day trip to Florence, as well. However, I speak NO Italian! eeek! I know enough French to get me by, but I don't think that's going to help. Any words of wisdom? I know some things have already been posted here before, but just wanting to see if anyone else had something to offer. =)
Top tip for Florence is: its very crowded in Florence. Packed full of tourists who all go for lunch at seemingly the same time which means its very difficult to get into cafes or restaurants at normal lunch times and when you do, its so busy its hard to get the waiters attention enough to talk about dietary restrictions. Instead, go for lunch during off times (like 11am or 3pm) where you have the time to talk to the waiter about what you want to eat and how you want it prepared.
In Florence there's a good healthfood shop/deli with lots of veg pates, olives, sietan slices and more you can stuff into your bag for a great picnic in a lovely square somewhere. Check the relevant happycow listing.
Another good tip is before you go, make a google map with the exact locations of said veggie friendly restaurants of the cities you are going to visit and print it out. This will help you immensely in finding their locations in unfamilair surroundings.
I've been dying to go to Rome for centuries! lol!!
“May all sentient beings be free of pain and suffering. May all sentient beings experience eternal joy and happiness. gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.”
The souther you go in Italy, the easier it is to be vegan. The produce itself is fabulous, but it is also easy to get LOTS of different pastas and local dishes which are naturally vegan. Avoid the mozzarella and seafood and you are good
This is because they mostly use olive oil to cook (instead of the butter of the north) and have a warmer climate, so no heavy meaty and saucy dishes. Best food is southern italian food I really think. It will probably be easier for you to ask for vegetarian options and just not pick the ones with dairy then trying to explain what veganism is. THat is what I do now.
Enjoy your time there!
found out the hard way thought pizza bianco was vegan-safe...it looked so benign. didnt recognize that ingredient but given the other ingredients and that there was no dairy or eggs in it i never IMAGINED that that ingredient would be something so appaling as LARD! should have googled it sooner. so appaled. groooossss. anyhow, note to non-italian speakers travelling here---AVOID this ingredient! i dont know if its all pizza bianco or just the one at the shop i was getting it from. wont be getting it again though from anywhere. bleh!
I asked in many pizzerias if strutto was among the ingredients of pizzas, and the answer was ever "no", but I know that the original neapolitan pizza contains it.
In Italy strutto often is used in focaccia and some kind of bread, you shall ask to the merchant or check the ingredients. Surely contain strutto: pane all'olio (oil bread) and piadina romagnola (wrap bread typical of Emilia-Romagna).
What should I look for as regarding lodging, transport, etc?
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. - Plato