Traveling With Food Allergies to Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy is known for its pasta dishes, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and summer Operas in the Arena. Traveling with food allergies to Verona is something I have done numerous times and each visit is even more enjoyable than the last. Due to its proximity to Venice, it is often overlooked, but one that I always recommend for its beauty, easy accessibility, excellent food, and plenty to see. Verona has everything from an approachable Colosseum, to numerous duomos, and walking streets full of that charming aesthetic only Italy can provide. Since it is not as well-known, it is much easier to enjoy any time of year.

Where I Stayed

This lovely little spot was the perfect place to stay for a quick little trip. The rooms are fairly small but they are clean and have everything you need. The women at the front desk were also incredibly helpful and printed out chef cards I needed in Greek (due to a last minute decisions to go to Greece the following day) and then lent me clear tape to “laminate” my cards.

Where I Ate

Verona is in the Veneto region of Italy. The region is known for risi e bisi (a simple rice and peas dish), pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans), many fish dishes due to the proximity to the Adriatic Sea, and polenta. Of course you can always find the classics like capri salad at most restaurants.

Restaurants:

This restaurant is at the top of the funicular. They used oil di semi and vegetale olio. The bread, pizza and pasta wasn’t safe.

  • Zanini Ristorazione S.A. Verona

This restaurant also used olio di semi but made me cacao e pepe with olio di olive. The chef, Yacapo greeted me and then sat with me to look at my card and took it seriously.

  • Bar Osteria Abazia

This restaurant was right at the corner of piazza where the Basilica di San Zeno is located. It is a quiet little neighborhood spot where the menu changes on a daily basis. I had a delicious meat lasagna for lunch.

  • Gelato: E’Buono, via Fontanella S. Stefano 10

This gelateria had many different dietary options including vegan choices. This means be especially careful with nut allergies, however they seemed to understand and I felt comfortable ordering a lemon gelato. For those with nut allergies, I never recommend any flavors with chocolate. I suggest sticking to fruit flavors only if considering gelato.

What I Did

First of all, buy the Verona Card. Once you pay for it, you get into all the touristy spots without the lines and hassle. It is definitely the best deal. It costs 20 Euros for 24 hours.

  • Funicolare di Castel S. Pietro– Only two Euros for a gorgeous view of Verona. Side Note: The gelateria  is on the way to the it.
  • Santa Anastasia Chiese- Church with a beautiful ceiling
  • Teatro Romano E Museu Archeologico- very interesting, on hill, was Monastery
  • Torre Del Lamberti (Tower)- Beautiful view of the city
  • Casa Di Giulietta (Juliet’s House)- Fun to go if you’ve never been
  • Arche scaligere (ruins and graves)- Photography exhibit on Robert Capa- very good!
  • Anfiteatro Arena (Roman Ampitheatre)- One of my favorite arenas!
  • Museo Di Castelvecchio (Castelvecchio Museum)
  • Piazza Erbe- Fun markets and restaurants

 

From the archives…

Verona has had a sweet spot in my heart since my first visit there in 2009. Below are Verona experiences from my travel journals and a blog post I initially wrote from my first trip to Verona with two of my close friends.

Verona Eating Experiences:

With my aunt in Verona, 2011.

Day 1

Lunch: Terrazzo Bar Al Ponte, Via Ponte Pietra, 26, 37121 Verona (near Ponte Pietra- bridge) Indoor and outdoor seating. Outdoor seating on terrace overlooking Fiume River. Beautiful view across at Teatro Romano E Museo Archeologico (Roman Theatre and Archeological Museum).

Ordered Panini with tomato and mozzarella. They were good checking with my allergies. There were no problems. I originally asked for ham as well, but they weren’t sure, so I didn’t have ham. Decent prices (6 Euro for panino)

Overall, pleasant ambience, basic but decent food, and nice staff who spoke some English.

Dinner: Trattoria Fluviale Vecio Mulin, Via Sottovia, 42/2 (Take Via Mazzini to river)

Recommended to us by our hotel as open on Monday and having good pasta dishes. When we walked in, I immediately showed them my allergy card and asked if I would be able to eat. The man who greeted us spoke with the chef. They spent a good 5 to 7 minutes discussing and going through everything. The chef came out of the kitchen, checked if I could eat meats, cheeses, milk, and olive oil. They said they would definitely find something for me. Both spoke some English.

We were taken to our seats at a tall table against the window that overlooked the Fiume River. The restaurant had twinkly white lights. We looked at the menu, ordered water and a bottle of the house red wine (from the region). Bread was in a brown bag at each table. The bread wasn’t made there, so I didn’t eat it.

There were two dishes that I was interested in eating. One was rigatoni in truffle mushroom sauce. The other was rice with marscoponi cheese, rosemary and prosciutto. Our server recommended the rigatoni, so we both ordered that. We also ordered an insalata mista. A bit later the server came back to tell me that the mushrooms were already in olio Vegetale, and that he was very sorry. He said I could have the rice, so I told him not to worry and that was fine! A few minutes later he came back. He found out that I couldn’t have the rice either because of the oil, so he said they could make me basically the same dish but with rigatoni instead. I was really happy they were being so careful. I said of course that sounded great (realizing importance of flexibility).

The salad was fresh and delicious. When our meals came, they were both excellent. Our meals average around €12 each (for meat dishes it was around €22). The bottle of wine with €13.

Overall, a magnificent dining experience!

Day 2
Hotel & Breakfast: Hotel Milano, Vitolo Tre Marchetti 11, Verona, 37121 (Street next to Via Mazzini and behind Arena)

This hotel is the perfect location. Very nice staff, clean rooms, nice shower and comfortable bed. The room cost €130 for two people.

The breakfast room is on the main floor. There is a big spread with cheeses (some with walnut though), meats, scrambled eggs and hot meat, cereal, bread, fruits, yogurt, and lots of additions (jams, nutella, honey, cream cheese). There were also juices and the choice of tea or coffee.

I ate very simply what was packaged or knew would be okay. I didn’t ask or show them my card because I knew what I could have. I had hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, cheese that was packaged away from the rest, a bit of ham, an apple, and coffee.

Lunch: Caffe AL Teatro, Via Roma, 10/2, 37121, Verona

We stopped here briefly before heading to the train. Nice atmosphere on via Roma on the way to the Museo Di Castelvecchio, close to the city gate main entrance.

The servers were both quick and friendly. There is outdoor seating perfect for people watching. I ordered a Panino with tomato, cheese, and prosciutto. I explained in Italian and showed my card. I asked him to check with the kitchen (he thought is was fine). It was okay. The sandwich was warm and came quickly. No problems and they were nice about everything.

 

Majestic Verona- Eating out and About (2009) with two friends

Traveling There & Settling In

My roommate, another friend and I spent this past weekend exploring the city of Verona. Since we were staying in Italy, I figured I would definitely be able to find something safe to eat. I packed food for the train, and a little extra for breakfast the next day, but left all other meals to be discovered in this new destination.

By the time we arrived, dropped our bags at the hotel and walked into the city, it was already early afternoon. I had a few rice cakes and an apple that I brought in my bag. We spent the rest of the day exploring the Castello, checking out the views from the top of the tallest tower, pretending we were gladiators in the Arena, and experiencing the many other beautiful sites of the city. Around 7 p.m. we were finally hungry and ready to find dinner.

Eating Out

We stumbled upon a rustic little restaurant that was very busy, but luckily had just enough room for the three of us to sit down at a table. Since I recently had a difficult time finding pizza or pasta to eat at a restaurant in the city I live in, I decided to ask the waiter first thing if I could eat there. He looked at my Chef card and said he would be right back. He came back and said that I couldn’t have the pizza because they use a mixed oil (In Italy, the vegetable oil is often a mixture of oils, including nut oils), so I asked what I could eat. He walked away to check and came back to tell me that pasta with pomodoro (tomato) sauce would be “Va bene.” I ended up getting that, and it was exquisite for a normally plain dish. I asked for some basil and Parmesan cheese on top of the pasta and it was truly delicious. No wonder they are known for their pasta dishes. They can even make pasta with pomodoro taste fancy!

Never Underestimate the Help of a Grocery Store

The rest of the weekend also worked out well. We were leaving the following day, so all I needed was breakfast and lunch. The breakfast at the hotel was ten Euro for very few things I could actually eat. We decided to find a grocery store on our walk into the city so I could find something to eat. I found cheese, bread sticks, and fruit to snack on for the rest of the day. It worked out really well. It was all I needed to get through the day.

Verona was another phenomenal allergy and worry free trip!

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