Italy (Venice & Florence) Low FODMAP Travel!
We went on our honeymoon in June 2015 and it really feels like just yesterday. I was super nervous about dining out with my food sensitivities especially with garlic and gluten but it was insanely easy! I had it in my head that I would be kicked out when I uttered “allergic to garlic” but it was just the opposite. I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of creating a fresh sauce for me as it was no hassle at all. This is the complete opposite experience I have in the states. I definitely ate my way through Italy so much so that even my husband at one point goes “you never eat this much, I love it!” My belly and heart were so full and happy as the food was so fresh and FODMAP safe. It took me leaving the country to realize how processed our food is in the states which is for a lack of a better word-disappointing.
What a special city that is built on a number of small islands located in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. To find a city with absolutely no roads, just canals was so unusual and special to walk around and explore.
Where to stay:
We are huge fans of staying at Airbnbs’ while we travel. Not only is it usually more cost effective but you get a much bigger space including a kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Plus it’s fun to feel like a local for a few days while staying in a typical neighborhood.
What to do:
Doge’s Palace– Formerly the palace of the Doge Family and later the seat of Venetian government. The architecture is absolutely stunning and worth a visit. The lines can be overwhelming but if you come at the end of the day it’s much shorter.
St. Marks Basilica -Gorgeous cathedral church of the Roman Catholics. We didn’t go inside due to the crazy long lines but just the grandness of the building was breathtaking.
Gondola Rides-my husband wasn’t jumping up and down to do this but I am happy to say his attitude completely changed afterwards. Our guide gave us great tidbits on the history of Venice that we would have never known. Tip: go during lunch time as the canals are a little less crowded. The prices go up for sunset/evening rides so keep that in mind as well.
The Jewish Ghetto-historic ghetto of Venice where all the Jews were forced to live. So much history is here on the walls and buildings. The Jewish Museum of Venice is located here and is a wonderful source of information.
Rialto Bridge-oldest bridge in Venice. You will find a ton of shops, restaurants and kiosks located here so be ready to do some shopping. The Rialto Market is also walking distance to a great outdoor market where you can find fresh produce.
San Giorgio Maggiore-We didn’t see the inside of this beautiful building but saw it from afar. If you have the time, I would add this to your list. It began as a church but today is the headquarters of the Cini Foundation arts center.
Murano-island of Venice known for its glass making. If we would have had an extra day we would have definitely done this. I’ve heard it’s a great day trip but be prepared for the steep prices of murano glass.
Where to eat:
Corte Sconta-This was our first meal in Venice and it lived up to the hype of all of the reviews. Not only was the service outstanding as the restaurant was extremely accommodating to my food allergies. Make sure to have a reservation ahead of time as I saw many people being turned away.
Cip’s Club- An upscale waterside “casual dining” experience located at the posh Hotel Cipriani. This was our splurge meal and the entire experience was luxurious. We took a short ferry provided by the hotel to the restaurant and were able to walk the gorgeous property before dinner. The food was delicious but the views and service were really what stood out. Plus the restaurant had warm gluten free rolls which I smuggled in my purse like an old grandma!
Gam Gam-Located in the Jewish Ghetto, a world famous Kosher restaurant located right off the canal. We ate delicious fresh vegetables and seafood. Plus they have a famous Shabbat Hospitality program for anyone visiting which sounds like an experience in itself.
Ostaria Boccadaro-Hidden gem located off the beaten path. Delicious meal and reasonablyy priced.
Gelato! Eat this everywhere! Some of my favorite places were Grom (gluten free waffle cones!) and Alaska Gelato.
Where to stay:
We stayed at another Airbnb in Florence and had a great experience as well with our host. The only downside was no air conditioning but we were out during the day and the night cooled off enough where it was still comfortable. We later learned that this is common in many Florence apartments as there is not much of a need for it.
What to do:
I highly recommend purchasing the Firenze Card either before visiting Florence or while you are in town. You get ticket admission and priority access which will save you a TON of time in lines.
Duomo-This gorgeous cathedral located in the heart of the city is named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore. The architecture is stunning and worth taking in but be prepared for long lines. We had discussed not climbing the stairs because I was nervous about being claustrophobic but I am so glad we did it. There were narrow corridors with only one way up and one way down which at times was a bit unsettling but after climbing the 460 steps the magnificent view was the huge reward.
Ponte Vecchio-This bridge was built in 1218 and since the 13th century has been home to a numerous different type of shops. It is now is famous for the numerous goldsmiths and jewelry shops. This is a fantastic place to window shop and walk around.
Piazza Del Signoria-This area used to be the center of political life and is still one of the most famous squares in Florence. You will find many tourists snapping pictures of the sculptures.
Uffizi Gallery-My husband and I are not museum people if you can tell by the lack of museums mentioned but this is one of the top museums in the world to visit so we made an exception. This does not have the typical feel of a museum as it was built next to the Palazzo Vecchio to host the magistrates, Florentine Guild and judiciary offices. Expect long lines so I suggest visiting at the end of the day in order to avoid large tourist groups.
Gallery of Academia-We didn’t travel all the way to Italy to not see the David. The lines were long so be patient!
Boboli Garden & Piti Palace-huge park with gardens, sculptures and fountains. The views of the city were beautiful and it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty surrounding you at the end of a long day.
Where to shop:
San Lorenzo & Mercato Centrale-This is where the city’s main market is located. You will find tons of street shopping (great place to buy ties and shawls) as well as a vast indoor vast indoor food market which is perfect for a quick lunch (Mercato Centrale).
Mossimo Leather-THE place to go for great deals on all things leather. We left the store with 2 leather jackets, purses, belts, wallets, the works! We had to buy an extra bag to fit all our finds. #sorrynotsorry
Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella-Oldest perfume shop in Florence. A special place to buy yourself or someone else a unique gift.
Where to eat:
Ristorante Ciro & Sons-OMG I have gone to gluten free and lactose free pizza heaven and come back asking for more! This place is known for its gluten free pizza but the rest of the menu is just as good (claim from my gluten loving husband)! Reservations are a must here as the place is so popular (and for good reason).
La Giostra-every single person recommended we go here and I know why! The place is so romantic with a dark ambiance and twinkling lights on the ceiling but the staff made it even better. I gave the waiter my list of foods to avoids and my allergies were 100% taken care of. From appetizers to dessert I was catered to and left feeling full and satisfied. The restaurant is known for their Florentine steaks and pear ravioli which of course my husband tried both of and still raves about to this day! Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time.
Trattoria da Garibaldi-this place was so insanely good we came two nights in a row for the homemade gnocchi and gluten free pizza. The owner was so sweet and accommodating and was even more excited to see us the second night. This place made it REALLY easy for my low FODMAP travel.
Gelato! We had this at least once a day (if not twice). Our favorite spots were Grom & Olvi (Yup, low FODMAP travel safe isn’t so bad!).
Looking for more low FODMAP travel guides? Check out our travels to Cabo!