A mini-guide to Rome's food and gelato scene, vegan and gluten free style. We spent a decent amount of time in Roma, and did a fair bit of eating. For the first half of our time here we were with Louis's family, none of whom are vegan or gluten free, which meant we were eating at a lot of places that weren't necessarily vegan or gluten free friendly. I actually loved this; I feel like it meant I properly experienced authentic Roman and Italian cuisine, as well as fully experiencing the warmth that is Italian hospitality. Not once did I go without, and to be honest, my meals were usually even more delicious than everyone else's (maybe I'm a little bit bias, I just really love veggies). I discovered that even though they rarely advertise it, a lot of restaurants do actually have gluten free pasta on the menu and all you have to do is ask. And with Rome being a capital city, vegano options are increasingly available, and people are only too happy to leave the cheese off a pizza or a pasta, or whip together something else entirely using what they have on hand. So without further ado, enjoy a few of my favourite spots!

Pandalì

Help, I'm having Pandalì withdrawals. Can I take it home with me? I honestly, probably went here pretty much every day we were in Rome... sometimes twice a day. On our first day in Rome we were wandering around, and all of a sudden stumbled past this little bakery with a big fat "gluten free" sign in the window. I went in, asked what was gluten free, and was told that everything was... everything. I asked what was vegan, and was pointed to a couple of different biscotti, bowls with quinoa and rice based goodness, a whole handful of their calzone (there was a spinach stuffed calzone, a broccoli stuffed calzone, or a zucchini one), as well as a perfectly simple pizza rossa. They heat them up there for you, or you can take them home with you. And so it was here, on our first day in Rome, that my love of their pizza rossa was born. Simply a pizza flatbread with tomato sauce and herbs on it, this became my lunch go-to. Louis and I would buy a bunch of sauteed greens, grilled veggies and stuffed tomatoes from our favourite deli (more on that later), I'd pick up a Pandalì pizza rossa, and we'd have a little makeshift picnic on the wall behind the Pantheon. The best. They were a little sassy here, but the fact I was getting gluten free vegan options made me happy enough not to care.
Mama Eat Roma

This place did the best GF pizza ever; if I didn't know it was gluten free, I would absolutely not know it was gluten free. But I do know it was, because they actually have two separate kitchens in this joint, they're that serious about ensuring zero contamination. The pasta was also delicious, albeit a bit oily for my taste. They didn't have a huge number of vegan options, they're more about the gluten free thing, but were super aware and happy to avoid using any cheese on my pizza or pasta. Just a word of warning that they advertise having lactose free cheese: this doesn't mean vegan cheese, just dairy without the lactose.
Alfredo e Ada

Okay, I almost don't want to include this place in my little write up because it feels like a delicious little secret... the tiniest little hole in the wall, Alfredo e Ada is no frills, no fuss, home cooked goodness. They can only fit twenty people in the restaurant at a time, they don't have a written menu, the waitress just lets you know what's cooking on the day, they have two wines to choose from, a jug of house white and a jug of house red, and if you don't get there early or book, chances are you'll be waiting a while. I came here with a group of people who weren't vegan or gluten free, so I wasn't too sure what I was going to be eating when I got there. But I ended up with a plate of the tastiest, hottest rosemary olive oil roasted potatoes, a plate of vinegar grilled zucchini and eggplant, a plate of sauteed garlic chicory, and a roman style artichoke... And I couldn't have been more stoked about it. It was fresh, it was delicious, it was nourishing, I was all about it. They also had a chickpea soup on the menu when I was there, plus a couple of simple pastas which would easily be vegan.

Da Francesco

This is for if you're after something a little more expensive and fancy: downstairs they have a pumping pizza joint, which is easy for vegan noms as you can simply ask for "senza formaggio/senza mozzarella", however upstairs is a really nice, slightly pricier restaurant. The catch here is they didn't actually have any vegan and gluten free options on their small menu (I came here with a group of people, no one else of whom was gf or vegan), however they were the loveliest, most hospitable, most flexible people and they put together the most delicious meal for me which everyone else at the table was jealous of. Roman style pesto artichoke, sauteed garlic chicory, and a platter of the most delicious grilled and roasted veges and potatoes: I couldn't have been happier. If you're not gluten free then pasta is always a delicious option as well, and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to make sure you end up with a delicious vegan option.

Paneterria Romana E Spaccio Di Paste

This beautiful old deli just over the river in Trastevere (a dreamy area in itself, go here to have a wander around beautiful cobblestoned lane ways and get your daily dose of vine-covered old buildings) became our go-to for lunches: filled with freshly baked bread and rolls, big long slabs of wood fired pizza al taglio, sautéed spinach and chicory, garlicky broccoli, and plates of different grilled veggies. If you're lucky they'll have their arborio rice stuffed tomatoes on offer too, so delicious! Louis and I would go and get a plate or two filled with a mix of different veggies and stuffed tomatoes, Louis would grab some fresh pane di casa or zucchini pizza al taglio, I'd have my Pandalì pizza rossa, and we'd have the most delicious little throw together lunches.
Biscottificio Innocenti

This sweet, old school biscuit shop, stumbled upon up a random little street in Trastevere, grabbed my attention with its window display of way too many delicious looking traditional biscotti. The smell of sugar and baked goods greets you, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a little display of vegano biscotti there sitting behind the counter. They're priced per weight, so you can get as few or as many as you want.
Rifugio Romano

A traditional Roman restaurant, veganised. They have two separate menus, one vegan and one not (apparently the women of the family are all vegan and swung the restaurant over to be half half). Super great for a traditional Roman feed, and pretty close to Termini station!

Other eateries to note:

Il Margutta veggy restaurant: a really nice vegetarian restaurant just off the most beautiful alleyway right near the Spanish Steps.
Ops! and 100% Bio: two really tasty, fully vegan buffet style eateries, perfect for a refuel in the midst of walking around Roma!

Gelato
Gelateria dell'Angeletto

My favourite gelateria that we came across, dell'Angeletto is located in the bustling, trendy area of Rione Monti. You can grab your gelato, head to the busy piazza filled with wine-drinking, trendy folk, and perch yourself on the fountain along with everyone else in the neighbourhood. They had a bunch of vegan options with a really great, super easy coloured scoop system; all the gelati with a blue scoop in them were both milk and egg free. I die for the mint choc chip flavour, the dark chocolate fondente, and the strawberry. They also had vegan cones.

Grezzo Raw Chocolate

A raw vegan chocolate shop with a selection of raw gelato on offer, this place was delicious and felt pretty healthy wholesome. Sweetened with coconut sugar, made with only raw and real ingredients, it hit the gelato craving nicely; however I will note that it isn't the same as getting a fat scoop of real gelato, and is also a little pricier. They also have an amazing selection of raw chocolates, truffles, and desserts like raw tiramisu!

Gialetti

Quite the institution, Gialetti is never not filled with locals and travellers alike waiting for their daily espresso, pastry, or a few fat scoops of authentic gelato. It's chaos, but worth it; they had a number of vegan sorbets (just ask if you're not sure, but there were quite a few labelled as dairy free) but the real reason you're here is for their dark chocolate fondente; it's honestly like a chocolate mousse.

Fonte Della Salute

Over the river in Trastevere, a sign advertising organic and vegan gelato grabbed my eye and drew me in here. They have all their vegan options super obviously labelled, and it was delicious, as most gelato is! They also had gluten free cones available.

Il Capriccio Di Carla

I ducked in here one night after I apparently hadn't quite satisfied my gelato quota for the day; it was on the way home, and looked pretty nice. They have a bunch of clearly labelled vegan flavours, and pride themselves on artificial flavour free, artificial colour free, real, natural gelato; the dark chocolate gelato is made with Valrhona chocolate and was wicked good (can you tell I like chocolate gelati yet?).
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Roma has my heart, big time. This was my fourth time in Rome, and every single time I've been here has been a totally different experience; so much buzz, history, life, excitement, beauty, and so many hidden gems packed into one city. We stayed in the super trendy area of Rione Monti which is close to everything. It's tucked away just behind the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, and has a million eateries, gelaterias (including a raw vegan one!), vintage stores, and well dressed humans to make all your people watching dreams come true. We spent our days walking (so, so much walking) the city, finding sweet neighbourhoods and dream future homes, escaping the crowds that are inevitable in Rome, and finding the little foodie gems that are scattered and plenty.

Sorry not sorry for all the snaps of beautiful buildings; Rome has a beauty at a every corner!

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The first couple of days after leaving Australia were spent in Naples, where we attempted to kick the jet lag. We stayed right on the Bay of Naples, waking up to the most beautiful sunrise hitting the city around the bay with the most brilliant gold, walked around the city a whole lot, finding some good eats (not too hard as Naples locals are serious about their food), and wandering the Museum of Archaeology (so interesting and in such a beautiful building, highly recommend).

Following Naples, we spent a week in Positano, which you can read about here, and whilst in Positano we did a couple of day trips; one to the marvellous Isle of Capri, another down the coast a little further to the town of Amalfi. On our first full day in Positano we also got up bright and early to do the breath taking Walk of the Gods, a 10 km walk winding along the coast line way up high.

Finally, on our way out of the south and up to Rome, we stopped off at the monastery of San Benedicto in Montecassino; a really beautiful spot, and so rich in history, and the perfect half way spot between Rome and Naples for a spot of lunch.

Here are a bunch of photos from all of the above! First up, Naples:
Amalfi

Furore

The Isle of Capri

The Abbey at Montecassino


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