Eating Gluten Free in Spain and Italy


My husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary last year in Spain and Italy for two weeks. It was an amazing time of experiencing so many new things. I knew that eating out would pose the most problems for me with my extreme gluten allergy and with so many days of eating in restaurants. We landed in Madrid and after taking a train from the airport into town, we made our way through the busy streets, with our luggage, as our hotel was very close and in walking distance. After roaming the streets for quite a while, a near experience with a pick pocketer who was reaching in my purse (which happened to be strapped over my shoulder and across my chest), we continued to haul our suitcases, trying not to turn on our data so we could use google maps.

We were exhausted and hungry, and the very little Spanish we could muster up was not enough to help us in search of our hotel. We asked at each corner until we made what seemed to be a complete circle! Ha! At last! There it was! We quickly checked in dropped our stuff in our room and hurried to the nearest restaurant right across the street! It looked busy; we knew that was a good sign! Not knowing what we would find, we asked to be seated. The waiter seated us, a kind older gentleman and I asked him if he had anything “sin gluten”. He showed me salads and a meat and cheese tray on the menu. It all sounded delicious! Out he came carrying a basket of “patatas fritas” (potato chips) and sardines. Yum! I don’t anything has ever tasted so good! Then came a beautiful meat and cheese tray and my dinner salad, loaded with cheese and greens, corn and tomatoes. Then our waiter arrived with a package of gluten free bread! And I knew, everything on our trip was going to be just fine. 

One of the many delis in Madrid, Spain where hundreds of Jamon legs hang from the ceiling.
In Italy, Paul found lots of pizza to eat at cafes or pizzerias, but I would usually have seafood, risotto made gluten free, or gluten free pasta.

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