ITALY, Restaurants

Gluten-Free Italy: Venice Update

24 Comments 08 February 2010

VeniceUpdate2

A lot of us have found The Gluten-Free Guide To Italy very helpful. One of our readers recently went to Venice and wanted to share with us a few new gluten-free places she discovered.

 VeniceUpdate 

Hello,

I found your great website on the web last week while I was preparing to head to Venice, Italy for the weekend. I was looking for information as to where I could eat gluten-free pasta and/or pizza. Unfortunately, the three restaurants you mentioned were closed during my visit and were going to reopen the next week. I wanted to share my discoveries in order to help anyone else traveling gluten-free to Venice. (I've been a celiac since 2000 and consider myself a foodie – I was the restaurant critique and guide for many years for the Celiac Disease Foundation quarterly bulletin based in Los Angeles, until I moved to Switzerland last year.)

Osteria Antico Dolo
Rupa Rialto, 778, Venice
Tel: 041 5226546
By chance, the first Osteria we stopped at had gluten-free pasta! The owner says he gets gluten-free requests all the time and keeps gluten-free pasta in stock. The artichoke and shrimp pasta was out of this world and the ambience is typical Venetian.

Mea Libera Tutti
Cannaregio 3805, Venice
+39 347-8488284
email: azzurra.viola@alice.it
Another amazing find: In Venice and its provence, there is one and only one store that only sells gluten-free products. They just opened a few months ago and the owner Azurra is celiac and so is her son. I wished I could have packed everything in my suitcase! The place is listed on www.glutenfreeroads.com.

Lafondamenta
Cannaregio 2578, 30121 Venice
Tel: 04 15289020
Azzurra recommended a pizzeria that had just started preparing gluten-free pizzas. The ambience is not the best, but it's still worth a visit. The owner is very nice. They work with DS (Dietary Special) and were expecting gluten-free pastries in the next day.

Let me know if you have any questions.  I hope these three finds can make a future visit to Venice even more pleasant for my fellow gluten-free diners.

Take care,

Armelle Sarda

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Your Comments

24 Comments so far

  1. 1
     
    Erin says:

    Great article, I wish I had seen this last fall before I went to Venice. Out of the three cities I visited, I actually found Venice the most difficult to eat in. I had much better luck in Rome and Florence.

  2. 2
     
    Kelly says:

    I KNOW!!!! I was in Venice about 5 years ago and it wasn’t easy. Lots of risotto and survived on Pamela’s PB cookies for breaky!

  3. 3
     
    Carol Schwan says:

    Thank you, that is great information to have.

  4. 4
     
    Carol says:

    Where can I get the gluten free italy guide?
    We will be spending a few days in Venice and have been concerned about what my husband could eat.

    thanks for any info,
    Carol

  5. 5
     
    Susan Brown says:

    Thanks to your information about Venice & Armella’s update, I was able to eat in the restaurants recommended. I also would like to recommend a small, casual restaurant named Ai 4 Feri. It’s very casual and the server was very concerned that I get a gluten free meal. When she brought bread to the table she offered me a rice cake from her personal stock. I ate a delicious grilled calamari (no breading or sauce) with salad and an assortment of vegetables. It’s cash only. We got a carafe of the local wine. The lunch was from 12:30-2:00 & dinner from 7:30-10:30. If it wasn’t our last day in Venice, we definitely would have gone back. The address is Calle Lunga San Barnaba, Dorsoduro 2754/a Phone:041/5206978-it’s closed Sunday & we found it in Fodor’s Italy, 2008. Susan Brown

  6. 6
     
    lois says:

    I just returned from Venice. I am both gluten-free and a vegetarian. It was very difficult to find good-quality meals, on the plane rides and while in Venice. I did visit the wonderful gluten-free store mentioned above and packed my suitcase with excellent quality pasta products to cook now that I am home. It is a challenge finding the store, but once you do, it is a resource you will cherish. My recommendation is to try to stay in a place that has kitchen access and do some of your own cooking. The produce markets are fantastic and this way you can control most of what you are eating.

  7. 7
     
    Joanne Atkinson says:

    Thanks so much for the really informative articles on GF eating in Venice. I’ve avoided Otaly so cey coeliac diagnosis ten years ago but have so wanted to visit Venice. This birtthday/ valentines weekend my husband and I are visiting for three nights. The articles have put my mind at rest and given me eating places to find. Thanks so much to all the contributors for taking the time to write.
    Love and thanks Joanne in Scotland

  8. 8
     
    val says:

    La Fondamenta is now gone. I was so disappointed to a see a new place in that location. The new restaurant does offer a few GF items but we didn’t try it. Just because there were no one patrons and you couldn’t even smell food scents coming from the kitchen.

  9. 9
     
    Dylan says:

    Tried Antico Dolo yesterday evening, stunning food. All pasta can be made wheat free and they even adapted a fish course for me, nothing was too much trouble, which is a rare thing. Will be going back tomorrow night!

  10. 10
     
    Anna says:

    I just came back from Venice and was able to build on your post and find great gluten free options. Here is the summary of what I found : http://gfftravel.blogspot.com/2011/06/venice.html

  11. 11
     
    Julie says:

    I have just come back from travelling through Europe and I was very surprised at how easy it was to eat in Venice and we found Mea Libera Tutti the all gluten free shop, I wish I had more room to take more of her products home. We found Wiki Travel was very good to find gluten free restaurants.

  12. 12
     
    federica says:

    a venezia al ristorante mediterraneo FRARY’s a san polo 2558 fronte chiesa dei frari ci sono tantissimi piatti senza glutine e vegani-vegetariani. chiuso il martedi. tel 041 720050

  13. 13
     
    Katiuscia says:

    Hello! I just spent 5 weeks in Italy, and one weekend in London and one weekend in Croatia. I have celiacs and was afraid that I wouldn’t stick to my diet until I read many wonderful blogs like your own! I did a day trip to Venezia and decided on either trying Frary’s or Osteria Antico Dolo for my meal that day. In the end, my friend chose Antico Dolo because he was nervous about trying the middle eastern cuisine at Frarys. It took forever to find the Osteria – and I had a fabulous meal that was really delicious…GF Pasta Bolognese.

    But that night, things changed for the worse: I was sick in the bathroom all night in the worse pain and all my digestive problems hit me in full force all at once.

    I finally made the connection that next day that I must have been given wheat pasta, not gluten free pasta, at Osteria Antico Dolo. I have been diligently gluten free now for 2 years so my body was really in full tilt after eating a full plate of wheat pasta!

    So fair warning…double and triple check that those restaurants are really giving you gluten free foods!

    The rest of my trip was uneventful…I adored how the rest of Italy was amazingly gluten free friendly. I shopped at my local farmacia for my meals at home and ate at special gluten-free restaurants. When those weren’t available, I carried my own pasta and chefs were always willing to make a plate special for me – this was especially useful in Croatia. Service I cannot find here in the US sadly!

  14. 14
     
    Kay says:

    Katiuscia:

    I am about to do the exact same trip as you! Flying to London, Italy and finally Croatia. Bringing your own pasta was acceptable? Thats great news! How was eating in Croatia? I have been so worried about eating out but reading everyone’s posts really put my mind at ease. I have Candida so my diet is highly restrictive. Thankfully I am at a healthy point and my food sensitivities have decreased. Does anyone have information on dairy free in Italy as well? Thank you so much everyone.

  15. 15
     
    Katiuscia says:

    Hello Kay! I wish for you a good trip! I think once you get to Europe, you will see how people approach food so differently than in the US and that you will be fine as a result. In Italy I would carry a lil bit of my pasta with me (or brioche in the am for my breakfast) if I knew I was going somewhere that didn’t serve gf stuff and every place I went to was accommodating. In Croatia they were accommodating as well but I had to bring my own pasta there as oppose to some places in Italy actually already having gf pasta.

    Another reason why it was easy to eat gluten free over there is because at least in Northern Italy and Croatia, there is a lot of fresh veggies and meat in the diet and nothing processed or steeped in preservatives. Therefore, no need to worry about every little thing possibly being contaminated. So needless to say I ate ALOT of meat and salads while there…and in the end lost 10 lbs! Imagine that! :)

    Dairy free was difficult, however. I stuck to soy milk when available and just made sure all the cheese I had was aged cheese like Grana or Parmesan. I am lactose intolerant so for me it isn’t as bad as my celiacs. But soy, due to all the hormone issues etc, isn’t exactly popular there so not easy to find.

    Btw there is a Celiac Association in Italy so they are the reason why it is a highly recognized and well treated disease. Here is the website where you can do a quick lookup of restaurants that are certified gluten free: http://www.celiachia.it/DIETA/afc/RistorantiHotel.aspx?SS=95&M=99

    I ate at one of the restaurant on this list and for them to be listed, they have to be able to serve dishes 100% gluten free…and lets just put it this way, my gluten free pizza was delivered to me with gloves on and in a glass covered plate and I was assured it was cooked in a completely separate oven than the other pizzas.

    Now THAT is service ;) Enjoy your trip!

  16. 16
     
    Kathy says:

    Just returned from Venice. I was surprised how difficult it was to find awareness let alone food. Then I found Beccafico, within Campo Francesco Molosini on the S. Marco side of the Accademia Bridge. GF pasta cooked anyway you want, and even GF bread! Delicious!

  17. 17
     
    Harmony says:

    In Venice Italy and it is lovely. I just found a great restaurant with a full gluten free menu! The name is Cico Bar, San Polo 1960/A – Venezia (5 minutes from Rialto Bridge on the West side.

    http://www.cicobar.it

    Good luck!

  18. 18
     
    nick says:

    in venice try frary’s, greek arab restaurant, gluten free. lovely place, great food, 10 minutes from railway station and rialto

  19. 19
     
    Sheryll Ziemer says:

    Heading to Venice on the 8th of Nov. I got a copy of The Gluten Free Guide to Italy and was about to type up a list or scan some. I opted to check online first, so I’ve cut and pasted lots of your recommendations! Thank you so much for taking the time to report your findings!!!

  20. 20
     
    Periplous Circumnavigat says:

    Gluten-free pasta (year round) and pizza (summers only) may be ordered at Sabrina’s in Venice Italy. Friendly service. Nice restaurant, too. Just had dinner there today (Feb. 9, 2013.)
    Here’s their address:
    Ristorante da Sabrina
    Salizada San Lio 5471 | Castello, Venice, Italy
    URL: http://www.ristorante-sabrina.it/
    e-mail:reservation@ristorante-sabrina.it

  21. 21
     
    TJ says:

    Hello,

    I’m sure I’ll find a lot of gluten free restaurants, but do you guys know of any that you’re sure of that have designated g free cooking areas, separate ovens for pizza, separate colanders for pasta, etc. in Venice? Also in Florence and Rome? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Im getting a little nervous about my trip next week!

  22. 22
     
    Anna-Kaisa says:

    Hi!
    The Italian Society for the Celiac Disease provides a list of restaurants, bars, gelateries etc. that are certainly gluten-free:
    http://www.celiachia.it -> Dieta senza glutine ->Alimentazione Fuori Casa

    Mea Libera Tutti (mentioned above)is a must-place to visit in Venice. There is such a great selection of gluten-free products. I wish I had had a bigger suitcase with me! :)
    The owner is very warmhearted and helpful.

  23. 23
     
    David Bown says:

    Just come back from Venice and found your website so useful. Azzura’s shop is wonderful, although the address is Cannaregio 3803. When we saw an empty shop we almost turned around, but fortunately looked in the window two shops down! It is a little challenging to find but well worth it. She is so nice, very helpful and speaks very good English. Besides only selling gluten-free products, she has tried them all and only sells products that taste nice.

    We found lots of restaurants had gluten-free pasta if you asked for it. We only saw one restaurant (the one Azurra recommended near Clarks show shop) that actually advertised outside that it offered a gluten-free menu.

  24. 24
     
    Cindy says:

    Mea Libera Tutti is now on Calle Rocchetta (3762/63) in Cannaregio. If you go to the Grom Gelato store by McDonalds, you are in the right neighborhood. It is tucked down a long alley so keep walking! Worth a stop. She can give you information about restaurants as well. If you’d like to contact her, do so through her facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/mea.liberatutti.1?fref=ts. She doesn’t really do email : )


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Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.
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