Trip Report Rome with Nut Allergies


Apr 15th, 2018, 08:03 PM
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Trip Report Rome with Nut Allergies


We just spent a week in Rome, near the Piazza Navona, so most of this report will be on that area. My 10-year old is allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts, and cannot eat items processed in a facility that also processes nuts. Below are our experiences and tips.

Hope this helps some families.

Take an Allergy Card! We do not speak any Italian, so we traveled with an allergy "card" (just a piece of paper) that I downloaded free online, describing the nut allergies in Italian. The original language was for an extreme allergy, and indicated that the individual would have an anaphylactic reaction with only miniscule exposure, necessitating epinephrine. With the help of a friend who speaks Italian, we modified that language to indicate that my child simply would have an allergic reaction. (We still carried an epi-pen and Benadryl to be safe, as always.) The card also asked the server please to help point out menu items that are safe to eat, and to please clean the prep area. I cannot overstate how important this card was -- it was wonderful. At every place we ate they read the card, and usually took it back to the kitchen. We came home without any major reactions.

Gelato -- Frigidarium was our "go to". They have a list posted inside of the restaurant for allergens and told my daughter which cones and which flavors were safe. Note that there is a possibility for cross-contamination, as they use separate scoopers for each flavor, but put more than one flavor into a cup. (Gelateria Frigidarium) San Crispino opened up a new container and used a fresh scooper, and pointed out which flavors were safe. Venchi said that nothing was safe, so we skipped that one.

Pizza -- Pizzaria da Bafetto (with a mustache logo) was listed as a "best pizza" place and had lines out the door. However, they told us that they put an oil into the pizza that contains nuts, and that none of the pizza was nut safe. She could only have crostini with cheese on it. Pizza Montecarlo was safe for both pasta and pizza, as well as the arancini di riso (fried rice balls).

Pasta -- Virginial or Virginiae ( restaurant was great - they told us it would be a slightly longer wait as they cleaned the prep area and made my daughter a separate pot of water for her pasta. The homemade bread was also nut safe, which was a big treat for her as she can hardly ever eat bread in U.S.restaurants Make reservations ahead for that one, as it got quite popular on Friday night. Ba'Ghetto in the Jewish ghetto also prepared a safe pasta. Cucina Toscana told us which items were safe to eat (not bread though) (Ristorante Terra di Siena SpecialitÓ gastronomiche della Toscana). Il Corallo on Via del Carrallo also pointed out safe dishes.
BMarieL is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2018, 11:58 PM
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Thank you for posting this! I am sure it will be helpful for many on the Forum.
nukesafe is offline  
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Apr 17th, 2018, 12:51 PM
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I love reading about Frigidarium being so helpful! They are my favorite gelato place in Rome and I know their owner who is a great guy. Thanks for posting all this helpful info.
Kristina is offline  
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Apr 18th, 2018, 02:25 AM
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What a great resource - pleased your trip went well
northie is offline  
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Apr 18th, 2018, 10:19 PM
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I also have a peanut and treenut allergy, and my son an allergy to peanuts and almonds.

I had someone fluent help me write out what I wanted to say. Peanuts are so seldom used in Italy, he had to think what to call them.

One thing I noticed in Italy is that the food servers were more interested in helping me than back in the United States. If it was gelato, they didn't care if a line formed while helping me. I believe it is because they take pride in their work--my theory anyway.
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