The First Days

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The First Days

When we organised our trip we made sure that all the accommodation was booked and transport etc was nearby as well as making sure that our apartment accommodation was near large supermarkets. This was a tedious process at the time, but it really did make a big difference to us being able to relax on the trip. We thought that being close to a large supermarket was essential, so that at least if we could not find allergy friendly foods, we would be able to find fresh meat, dairy and fruit and vegetables to survive on.  We also figured that larger supermarkets would also be more likely to have an allergy friendly range.

Before leaving, we also researched and took with us a list of organic/health food shops near where we were staying, so we a good idea of where to go for gluten free items.  When booking accommodation, I would recommend making sure that you get apartments with Wifi access. It is also highly recommended that you find a cheapish phone roaming and data service for your trip. You just never know when you need to look up a location for food or transport or emergency services or if you get lost and need a GPS.

When we arrived in Rome, it was late at night so we could not just head out to the supermarket.    On the first morning we had enough food from home to get us by for a few hours, so we decided to sight see for a few hours before stopping at a store for supplies. We bought tickets on a hop on hop off bus and then ended up at the Colosseum for several hours because of queues. We had not anticipated the length of time we would be out but fortunately we had enough snacks on us to allow for lunch. It was late afternoon by the time we dragged tired kids around Rome to locate the store.

We did not have enough Italian language knowledge to read the ingredients lists effectively. However, as a matter of luck, there was a sales rep looking at the gluten free section when I was trying to make sense of everything, so I managed to ask him for help. I knew senza glutine meant gluten free and the sales rep, explained that biologic meant organic and was represented by a green leaf. I also learned that aroma /aromi meant flavor. Naturale was natural. So with this knowledge it was possible to choose  a few products that met our needs.

One of the challenges, besides reading food labels was working out how much to buy. Do you buy lots in case you can’t get it anywhere else? Or do you take a risk, knowing you have to carry it all with you in luggage if you don’t eat it before you move to the next city. We decided to carry the essentials like crackers and jam and cereals and as we discovered as we moved on to each city, it was relatively easy to source foods in each city.

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  • Jenny Trezise
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