Europe, general, Italy

Guest Post: Tips for Traveling as a Celiac in Italy

Today is a special guest post by Catalin Varela, an expat with celiac disease currently living in Italy. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been to Italy but I have fond memories of all the wonderful, gluten-free food I ate while traveling there. Many people are surprised that you can eat gluten-free so easily in Italy, but it’s true! Catalin’s tips below are a great starting place for anyone interested in traveling to and eating gluten-free in Italy.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Tips for Traveling as a Celiac in Italy”
Italy, Portland, Prague, Thailand, United Kingdom

Top 5 Gluten-Free Globetrotter Meals Across the Globe (So Far)

I have a very long list of places I want to travel to, but I also have a wonderful list of places I have been where I’ve eaten some wonderful gluten-free meals. Here is my top 5 list of gluten-free meals across the globe so far.

1. Pasta in Italy. It was less about the food and more about the location and circumstance. I was within walking distance of the Vatican in Italy, sitting at an outdoor table, sipping on wine and eating gluten-free pasta. I was so happy to find a safe, gluten-free friendly restaurant in Italy. This was the first of many gluten-free pasta dishes I ate while in Italy. I highly recommend Italy to any Celiac for a vacation.

La Soffitta Renovatio Ristorante
Piazza del Risorgimento 46/A, 00192
Roma, Italia

Gluten-free pasta at La Soffitta Renovatio Ristorante
Gluten-free pasta at La Soffitta Renovatio Ristorante

Cucina senza glutine! (Food without gluten)


2. Cooking class and 5-course meal at Baan Thai Cookery School. When I first made a reservation for this class, I had someone from my hotel explain in Thai that I needed to have a shellfish-free and gluten-free meal. The school said this would not be a problem. This 4-hour-class started with a pick-up at my guest house in Chiang Mai, Thailand where I met fellow classmates from around the globe. We walked to the local market to buy Thai vegetables to prepare with our meal. For each course, we moved from the dining table back into the kitchen. It was so much fun to learn about traditional Thai meals, ingredients, and meal preparation and then enjoy your meal with others. We took home a recipe book and I went back to the market to buy the traditional Thai spices we used in our meals. This was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon learning about Thai cuisine and meeting friends from around the world, while eating a safe gluten-free meal.

Baan Thai Cookery School
11 Rachadamnern Rd.
Soi 5 T.Sriphoom A.Muang
Chiangmai 50200 Thailand

Me in the kitchen of Thai Cooking School
Me in the kitchen of Thai Cooking School

Amazing selection of fresh produce in Chiang Mai, Thailand market


3. Patacones in Portland. El Pilon is a food truck in Portland featuring traditional Colombian food. The truck is almost entirely gluten-free and event has GF icons on their menu. My favorites include beef empanadas, pan de yucca, and patacones with aji. Seriously, the patacones are one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten in my life!

El Pilon
SW 2nd and Oak Street
Portland, Oregon

Lunch from El Pilon: patacones with chicken, empanada, and pao de queijo

4. High Tea in Edinburgh. My mom and I went to Wales and Scotland in October 2013. Before our trip, we decided we wanted to have a traditional British afternoon tea during our trip. My mom found the Scotsman Hotel who could provide a 100% gluten-free high tea. Finger sandwiches, scones, cookies, and cakes, plus unlimited pots of tea made for a perfect gluten-free high tea. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon in Edinburgh.

Scotsman Hotel
20 North Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Gluten-free high-tea at the Scotsman Hotel

5. Schnitzel and Beer in Prague. Schnitzel is a traditional, Czech dish that is deep-fried MEAT. With a little research, I knew that Švejk Restaurant U Karla (read my review) served gluten-free schnitzel and beer. I met up with a student from TravBuddy who was also in Prague at the same time as me and we had a lovely dinner sharing stories from around the globe. I was so excited to eat a traditional Czech gluten-free meal that I went back to this restaurant a second time before I left Prague.

Švejk Restaurant U Karla
Křemencova 7, 110 00 Praha 1,
Prague, Czech Republic

Small photo, big flavor. Gluten-free schnitzel at Švejk Restaurant U Karla

Beef goulash with roasted sausage, onions, homemade gluten free dumplings


Gluten-Free Food Lover’s Tour of Tuscany

I am excited to announce a new gluten-free tour to Italy coming this fall from Zenfully Delicious and Perillo Tours. I first met Zenfully Delicious founder Jennifer Iannolo at an NFCA event way back in 2005. We then reconnected at another NFCA event in 2010 right around the launch of her website. After 15 years in the world of fine food and wine, and a major lifestyle change due to fibromyalgia, gluten and dairy issues, Jennifer created Zenfully Delicious site to “help others with chronic illness live a delicious life — because boundaries are boring.” Now, Jennifer is hosting this amazing Gluten-Free Food Lover’s Tour to Tuscany in October. How awesome is that?! Read on for more details.


NEW YORK, NY — Managing a gluten-free diet is challenging enough, but add in travel and the complications go to a new level. Zenfully Delicious™, the lifestyle company that empowers people with chronic illness to embrace indulgent wellness, is taking the stress out of travel.

In partnership with Perillo Tours, Zenfully Delicious founder & CEO Jennifer Iannolo will host an exclusive, gluten-free tour of Tuscany October 18-25, 2012. So besides taking in the historical splendor of Siena, Florence, Arezzo and other locales, guests will enjoy salumi tastings, sulfite-free wines and a cooking class with ingredients fresh from the farmer’s market. Guests will stay all 6 nights at the Villa Casagrande in the 12th century town of Figline Valdarno. The hotel includes a spa so guests can pamper themselves after a day of touring.

Jennifer, a food and wine expert, and creator of The Gilded Fork® and Culinary Media Network®, knows what it’s like to travel under a cloud of food anxiety. When her health began a downward spiral in 2010, she was forced to reinvent herself. Once she mastered living powerfully with fibromyalgia and gluten intolerance, she developed Zenfully Delicious to empower others, share information, offer support and provide coaching through every aspect of life’s journey with a chronic illness.

“This trip is near and dear to my heart,” says Iannolo. “After two decades of exploring the planet, I suddenly found myself hesitant to travel because I wasn’t sure there would be an understanding chef in the kitchen. With this tour, we’ve created a safe place where people can enjoy themselves worry-free, and know they are taken care of.”

Reservations are being accepted for the tour, which has very limited space. Call Laurie at Perillo Tours at (855) 784-7687. You can also reserve your place and make a deposit online at For more information about the itinerary, check out

About Zenfully Delicious
Jennifer Iannolo founded Zenfully Delicious ( was founded in 2010 by Jennifer Iannolo to empower people with chronic pain and food sensitivities to live a delicious life. By celebrating food, wellness and a healthy dose of self-pampering, her site’s team is out to live la dolce vita no matter what — and to encourages others to join them in living la dolce vita. for the ride. After 15 years in the world of fine food and wine, working with the world’s greatest chefs, Jennifer is determined to continue savoring the flavors, textures and colors (though now gluten-free ones) that inspired her to launch her career in the first place.

About Perillo Tours
Since 1945, the Perillo family has perfected the art of traveling to Italy. This means that when you book your vacation, you can let them take care of the details. (

Cucina Senza Glutine

Photo Friday: Cucina Senza Glutine

Cucina Senza Glutine
La Soffitta Ristorante Renovatio
Gluten-Free Italian Restaurant within walking distance of the Vatican
Rome, Italy

Europe, Italy

Photo Friday: Gluten-Free Pizza in Florence, Italy

Gluten-Free pizza with eggplant at Le Botteghe di Donatello
Firenze/Florence, Italy

View of the Duomo from Le Botteghe di Donatello
View of the Duomo from Le Botteghe di Donatello
The only closer view is from inside!