ITALY, Travel

Gluten-Free Tivoli

7 Comments 26 February 2010

Tivoli Like Painting
View from the lookout at Hadrian's Villa. Looks like a painting, no?

An interesting day trip from Rome is a visit to Hadrian's Villa. We took the train to the town of Tivoli, and then the No. 4 bus a short 4 miles to the site.* Evidently, the town of Tivoli itself has a lot to offer tourists, but just touring Hadrian's Villa took us an entire day.

Tivoli Villa Adriana
The Italian name for Hadrian's Villa

Emperor Hadrian liked to get away from it all at his summer villa located within the Tiburtini Hills. His private retreat was built between AD 118 and 134 or as Zoolander would say, "a really, really, really long time ago." 

Tivoli Restaurant 

Once we bought our tickets to enter the grounds, I noticed what looked like a restaurant on the opposite side of the parking lot.

Tivoli Hotel Grounds

Looks like a nice place, doesn't it?

Tivoli Adriano Hotel Ristorante

The name sounded familiar. Ooooooh! Wait! I checked my list of restaurants with gluten-free food from The Gluten-Free Guide To Italy and sure enough listed under Tivoli was Albergo Ristorante Adriano!!! (phone:0774535028) And the note says: "Will make homemade gluten-free pasta and desserts with notice. Gluten-free breakfast." Oh my!!!! I made a beeline to the office and showed them my Italian dining card. They were a little disorganized finding out the answers, but evidently several hours notice wasn't enough for the gluten-free pasta or dessert, but they could still feed me some sort of gluten-free food later after our tour of the grounds. I was so excited!

So, another reason for you to visit Hadrian's Villa!

Tivoli Ruins

I couldn't believe how immense the villa grounds were. And so much still intact! I think my favorite thing was learning how they made cold and hot baths. So sophisticated!

Tivoli Hadrian's Villa Large

The people in the photo here give you an idea of the scale of the buildings.

Tivoli Pool
The Canopus, a replica of the sanctuary of the god Serapis near Alexandria.

He even had a little apartment area on an mini island surrounded by a moat for a little privacy. (not pictured)

Tivoli Mushroom lookout
The lookout

Do you see a mushroom in this picture? "Mangia di funghi!!!!"

Tivoli View
Another view from the lookout
Tivoli Cute Friends

After a hot day it was so refreshing to dine under the cool trees.

Tivoli Prosciutto
My starter plate of grilled vegetables and…more prosciutto!

Tivoli Steak 

I also filled up on steak and potatoes. I knew it would be a long journey home the next day.

So, there you have it! The Agony and the Ecstasy of my trip to Italy. I debated a long time on whether to share this with you. I didn't want to sound negative. I thought about it and figured that some of you might appreciate hearing that despite my trouble finding gluten-free, dairy-free and corn-free food, I still managed to have a good time. In fact, I would do it all over again. Yes, the Ecstasy from all of the beauty seen in this land far outweighed the Agony.

Oh, and the life lessons I learned along the way are to never forget to drink more vino and "Mangia di funghi!!!" [wink]


*Across from the bus stop there was a really cute cafe that made its own gelato and sorbet from scratch! I had problems in Rome finding any sorbet that was corn-free. They all were labeled with "destrosio" and no on knew what that originated from. It was too close to the english word "dextrose", which is from corn, for me to take a chance. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled to find some cool fruity homemade sorbet here! Unfortunately, I almost missed the
bus buying some, so I didn't get the name of the shop. It can be your little treasure hunt!

Anyone know what destrosio is derived from in Europe?

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Your Comments

7 Comments so far

  1. 1
    reyanna says:

    Awesome! I SO enjoyed reading this! I’m so glad you decided to share it… agony and all. 😀

  2. 2
    Kelly says:

    Reyanna, SO glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  3. 3

    I have been enjoying reading about your travels and gluten-free experiences in Italy. Great pictures too!
    You are making me even more excited to return to la bella Italia– a trip to Lecce and Roma this May! Buon divertimento a te e buon appetito!
    Maria (gluten-free Italian professor and author of The Gluten-Free Guide to Italy)

  4. 4
    Carol says:

    Thank you for sharing. As someone who is gluten free, dairy free and wants to go to Italy, I found it to be informative. Carol

  5. 5

    The Good Eatz Green Cafe in West Reading Pa recently celebreated their 1 year anniversary! In addition to G/F, there is Dairy free, Vegetarian and Vegan selections as well. A full array of house baked G/F bakery goodies without any artificial anything! And finally, a G/F personal pizza.At about 85% organic with hormone free chicken & beef, locally sourced ingredients and compostable take outs, this is definitely a place to check out! or stop by 701 Penn Avenue, West Reading Pa 19611, 610 670-4885 open daily from 8-8 and 9-2 for a Special Sunday Brunch!

  6. 6
    Kelly says:

    You’re welcome, Carol! Hope it helps!

  7. 7
    Alexis says:

    Love the commentary. I lived in Italy (Rome) for 4+ months (gluten-free, of course.) There are actually a lot of Italians with Celiac, and I was lucky enough to make friends with one who cooks, no less. There’s a great pizzeria (Pizza 2000), as well as Ristorante La Mimosa Fiorita, Roma ( if you ever head back and, should you have a kitchen at your disposal, all of the ‘farmacias’ offer gluten-free cooking items. Hope that helps :).

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Kelly Courson


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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