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More On Italy

We chose to  stick with organic processed foods,  because we knew that they would be safe and that we did not have to worry about the language that we could not understand or hidden additives. Viva Verde was a common organic brand that we found all over Italy luckily and they had a wide selection of products from yoghurt, to biscuits, crackers and cereals.

Breakfast in Europe can be tricky because  in general they don’t tend to do cereals , however  it was fairly easy to find some gluten free cornflakes except in Venice.  We lived on these for the first couple of weeks. We could not do toast as we did not have the bread available.

I had heard that Dr Schar gluten free bread was widely available through Europe, however we seemed unable to locate it during our stay in Rome and Umbria. We lived on rice cakes with vegemite and jam brought from home.  In Umbria we stayed with a friend who was able to locate a big supermarket that sold lots of gluten free and organic items. However, we subsequently found that that all the big supermarkets , seemed to have a pretty good range of gluten free.  There were quite a few gluten free breads available but most had additives in them.

Given the lack of bread and the need to get more energy from our lunches than rice cakes could provide, I decided to have a go at making some bread from a gluten free mix.  I did not have access to a tin, so I did not know how the shape would hold, but it did not flop too much and turned out a bit like damper.  It was good enough.

It was only when we got to Venice that we discovered a local pharmacy had the Dr Schar bread we had heard so much about.  This was surprising as I had expected Venice to be the most difficult.   We had looked in Pharmacies in Rome and Umbria but they did not have any bread.  We bought the entire supply off the shelf and kept some for our onward journey.

When we left each of our locations for the next city, we were sure to carry with us supplies to get us by in the next city if we had trouble locating important supplies.  This led us to have difficulty with our suitcase storage capacity, however we did allow some room when we packed at home to allow for this.  Generally we tried to carry with us snacks such as biscuits, a new pack of soymilk, bread, packet of pasta, sauce etc.

When we left home, we had in our suitcase bread mix, biscuit mix, pack of pasta, pasta sauce,  high energy muesli bars, a selection of spreads, individual portions of cereal for emergencies and for the plan ride home. We also had tetra packs of soy milk for breakfast.

How did we fit it all in? Well we did not take loads of clothes and we did not take any toys.  We had a couple of warm jackets in case of cold weather, which turned out very useful as we had snow on one of our nights in Umbria.

We each had a suitcase and back pack. The kids carried their own books , pencils etc, puzzles for the long plane and train trips. They also carried light weight food that we could not fit into our luggage.

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  • Jenny Trezise
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