Gluten Free Italy

I felt it instantly. It was undeniable. It happened whenever I spoke to friends and neighbors about their travels to Italy. The room stopped. Their faces lit up and hearts melted all around upon speaking and hearing about the trip. I wanted a scoop of that slice of life!

I love the heart-melters—the things we live for. The fun stuff is why we’re here, right?! Work hard, play soft, and keep it balanced while you’re at it. Joy is one of life’s golden nuggets. Or as my Sage designer and I discussed recently, if you want to feel like a Lucky Ace, then choose the fun card from the deck before you. 😀

After many conversations about taking a special trip together, my Boyz and I decided to plan a family vacation to Italy. For nine gorgeous days I ate the freshest, most scrumptious, super healthy food—and not once had I been “glutened” (accidentally eating something with gluten).

When most people think of Italy, they think pasta. But I found that a gluten free Italy was easy, doable and delicious.

Safe and savory, Italy understands celiac disease. The chefs and food preparers are knowledgeable and conscientious, giving you all kinds of options to accommodate your dietary considerations. They have your back. All you have to do is point to yourself and say “senza glutine” with a smile and they know exactly what to do. (My son John often interpreted anything I didn’t understand since he learned Italian for this trip.)

There were single ingredient food choices all over Italy, which made it easy to eat healthy. Fresh eggs were always available for breakfast, and sliced Italian meats easily accessible. For me, protein is how I stay energized and lean, so I was incredibly grateful to be able to maintain my diet while in another country and dining out regularly. Olives and parmesan cheese were served often, and farm-to-table fruits and veggies offered at every meal. Delicious coffee was everywhere in small amounts—not huge cups.

They have a system in Italy: the food is thoughtful and designed like their beautiful buildings. Food architecture with an attention to detail, yet surprisingly simple. Just the way I love it.

The complimentary breakfast buffets were highlights with gluten-free breads on separate tables—and always labeled. I was impressed by how much Italians cared. Novazza, Lake Como, Venice, Florence, Rome… wherever we went and wherever we stayed, a gluten free Italy was easy for me because there was always an assortment of fresh fruits, veggies and meats—all delicately sliced. I did splurge and tried a strawberry gelato in Venice. Of course it was dairy-free in a gluten free cone, all made fresh that day. A pure delight!

Our relatives Jacques, Marie and Samuel spoiled us with a risotto they made with fresh mushrooms they collected themselves and meats they barbequed to perfection. You could feel the love stirred in to each and every meal.

All over Italy, felt like a lucky ace
Gluten free all over this place
A smile on my face
Keeps me healthy all my days
Veggies, fruits fresh
Gorgeous.
Sliced meats everywhere
Gluten free Italian kindness
With
food hugs and loving care

How do you keep balance while you balance work and play, and—most of all—travel? You take excellent care of yourself.

It’ll take some planning and effort, but I believe starting my day with fresh food (and not anything prepackaged) and drinking plenty of water kept me well the entire trip. I’m so incredibly thankful to have felt good every day and to have the energy and vitality to climb the steps and take the hikes along the Italian cliffside villages.

Sometimes we were exhausted from a day of constant action and travel, but it was a blissful tired. Plus, my son Doug always found a hideaway—tucked down a cobblestone street—that only the locals knew about for a delicious dinner. A lovely way to wind down after an exhilarating day.

I loved this trip with my whole heart. The people are always what makes things even more beautiful and I can’t wait to visit again.

About Jet Widick

Jet Widick is the founder of Gluten Free Sage, a weekly publication that promotes healthy food, healthful lifestyle, mindfulness and minimalism. She believes that each of us longs for artful experiences and that we need to be well and inspired to help us become the best, most beautiful versions of ourselves that we can be.