Allergy (& Cat) Friendly Italy

Published:

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Italy – the most famous place in the world for all things dairy and wheat based. The invention of the common place pizza, substantial pasta and decadent iced cream in the very place I chose to visit. What was I thinking? This is clearly not one of my better cognitive moments in history, however, when I came out of my 7.5hr mastectomy operation last February for breast cancer we made a vow that when it was all over, our first holiday venue would be Rome. I have always dreamt of the walk up to the Colosseum, treading the pavements of the ancient civilisations, touching the very walls that they carefully constructed, that have battled through time and revolution to remain as constant and defiant as those that lived within. I felt a resonance with this place without even having visited. I did have an air of trepidation about the trip, as well you know cow dairy and gluten are not my friends.
If you are put off by either of these issues, or you are coeliac, I would bid you to go to quite possibly one of the most impressively allergy friendly places I have visited to date. I did not snapchat every moment as I was in dire need of mental, physical and emotional down time. This year has not been the coasting easy ride I envisaged thus far.
At every turn in the capital’s cobbled streets there is clear signage of gluten free premises with feasts to behold. There is a plethora of delicate dishes with Italian signature Plat du Jour galore.
2 places that I made particular pilgrimage too were Romeow the gluten free, dairy free cat cafe and the Punto Gelato ice cream delight boasting dairy free, agave sweetened iced delights and even some buffalo milk based treats with flavours for the more daring out there. Buffalo milk with tomato and basil intrigued me but alas I ran out of gusto before sampling them all. In this delightful little dairy free fest tucked down small street a little out of the way, I was like a child in a candy shop. I had dreamt about the existence of dairy free pistachio and my dreams had been answered. I had a choice of double chocolate, pistachio or hazelnut, all boasting to be agave sweetened also. On top of this there were several deliciously tempting sorbet desserts in flavours such as kiwi and banana, but you can have sorbet anytime right. Obviously I went nutty with my flavours and believe me, I was not disappointed. The gelato offered normal milk pistachio which I can only assume was equally as divine.

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A large tub of iced dream dessert will set you back 6 Euros, but you are not limited to how many flavours you wish to cram in. I would definitely advise making your way here whether you have a dairy allergy or not, but it is almost paramount if you do as your dreams will actually come true. I cannot describe the intensity of the flavours so you must seek out the gem and find out for yourself.

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Romeow was a taxi ride from the centre of Rome but if you are an animal lover, and a cat queen more so, you can enjoy this laid back haven surrounded by 6 fur babies in their purpose built playground, whilst enjoying some homemade treats and a smoothie or two.

IMG_5309

Juices, smoothies, coffees, are large selection of teas and cakes with a few snacks are available. Coconut milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk and soy are all available.

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I had an almond milk cappuccino with a coconut milk smoothie laced with spinach, banana, pineapple and spirulina, accompanied by a green tea cheesecake.

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Mr MK had a mango, kiwi and coconut milk smoothie, with an almond milk cappuccino and a gluten and dairy free tiramisu.

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The service was impeccable if not a little laid back for the English clientele. However, it suits the calm and relaxed environment you are in. I would defy anyone but especially a cat lover to remain tense here.

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Surrounded by snoring content cats cacooned in specially constructed baskets, with wall mazes and tunnels to cavort in whilst you colour in the picture books with amply provided crayons you can simply forget where you are and escape from the hustle, bustle and craziness that begets any major city.
In short have no fear about visiting the opulent city which boasts generous mix of ancient and modern, entwined together as though born of one era. Any needs will be well catered for and even those that have not learned English or another language are as helpful and humble to any visitor as you could expect of a people proud of their heritage.
There are so many sights to see it is really down to personal preference, but you will find even without a guided tour that most iconic visions are easily located and the city is compactly arranged almost for your convenience. One tip I do have if you decide not to purchase a tour is this, when you arrive at the colosseum, by pass all the queues and proceed directly to the palatin where you will find the queue is substantially shorter as this is a much less popular concern. Buy your ticket here for 16 Euros which includes 3 sites for visiting, one of which is the colosseum. The ticket will last for 24hrs but with just one entry to the colosseum. You may dip in and out of the fort and the grounds as often as you wish in the 24hrs though, and believe me you could wander for hours. We stumbled across an archeological dating expedition which was fascinating to witness.
Whatever you decide to visit, I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed by food, the shopping, the people, the sights or the experience. We made the trip a little cheaper by staying 10km outside of the city centre. Our hotel called Black hotel, was a 4 star with plenty of amenities that increase during the summer as the outdoor pool and sun lounge area open. The hotel is beautifully embedded in the Italian countryside in a secluded spot that ensures you awaken to only the sound of the bird chorus. Tranquil in it’s setting and by its design. The hotel has its quirks to say the least, for example its determination to avoid any right angles. Triangles are the preferential angle which can be seen in the rooms and around the hotel. It almost begs to be experienced as it is truly unique in design and purpose. Trendy and with an eclectic staffing, cocktails and an award winning restaurant complete the entourage. They provide a free courtesy bus every morning to the nearest metro station. 8.30am, 9.30am and 10.30am. The metro was easily navigated and not intimidating once you got used to the presence of the armed soldiers. Protected rather than anything, which was evident throughout the holiday. Security checks and the guard and police presence lent itself to a sense of safety amongst chaos. I can honestly say If you haven’t already done so, add this to your bucket list.

IMG_5306

Italy – the most famous place in the world for all things dairy and wheat based. The invention of the common place pizza, substantial pasta and decadent iced cream in the very place I chose to visit. What was I thinking? This is clearly not one of my better cognitive moments in history, however, when I came out of my 7.5hr mastectomy operation last February for breast cancer we made a vow that when it was all over, our first holiday venue would be Rome. I have always dreamt of the walk up to the Colosseum, treading the pavements of the ancient civilisations, touching the very walls that they carefully constructed, that have battled through time and revolution to remain as constant and defiant as those that lived within. I felt a resonance with this place without even having visited. I did have an air of trepidation about the trip, as well you know cow dairy and gluten are not my friends.
If you are put off by either of these issues, or you are coeliac, I would bid you to go to quite possibly one of the most impressively allergy friendly places I have visited to date. I did not snapchat every moment as I was in dire need of mental, physical and emotional down time. This year has not been the coasting easy ride I envisaged thus far.
At every turn in the capital’s cobbled streets there is clear signage of gluten free premises with feasts to behold. There is a plethora of delicate dishes with Italian signature Plat du Jour galore.
2 places that I made particular pilgrimage too were Romeow the gluten free, dairy free cat cafe and the Punto Gelato ice cream delight boasting dairy free, agave sweetened iced delights and even some buffalo milk based treats with flavours for the more daring out there. Buffalo milk with tomato and basil intrigued me but alas I ran out of gusto before sampling them all. In this delightful little dairy free fest tucked down small street a little out of the way, I was like a child in a candy shop. I had dreamt about the existence of dairy free pistachio and my dreams had been answered. I had a choice of double chocolate, pistachio or hazelnut, all boasting to be agave sweetened also. On top of this there were several deliciously tempting sorbet desserts in flavours such as kiwi and banana, but you can have sorbet anytime right. Obviously I went nutty with my flavours and believe me, I was not disappointed. The gelato offered normal milk pistachio which I can only assume was equally as divine.

IMG_5304

A large tub of iced dream dessert will set you back 6 Euros, but you are not limited to how many flavours you wish to cram in. I would definitely advise making your way here whether you have a dairy allergy or not, but it is almost paramount if you do as your dreams will actually come true. I cannot describe the intensity of the flavours so you must seek out the gem and find out for yourself.

IMG_5316
Romeow was a taxi ride from the centre of Rome but if you are an animal lover, and a cat queen more so, you can enjoy this laid back haven surrounded by 6 fur babies in their purpose built playground, whilst enjoying some homemade treats and a smoothie or two.

IMG_5309

Juices, smoothies, coffees, are large selection of teas and cakes with a few snacks are available. Coconut milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk and soy are all available.

IMG_5313

I had an almond milk cappuccino with a coconut milk smoothie laced with spinach, banana, pineapple and spirulina, accompanied by a green tea cheesecake.

IMG_5308

Mr MK had a mango, kiwi and coconut milk smoothie, with an almond milk cappuccino and a gluten and dairy free tiramisu.

IMG_5312

The service was impeccable if not a little laid back for the English clientele. However, it suits the calm and relaxed environment you are in. I would defy anyone but especially a cat lover to remain tense here.

IMG_5314IMG_5315

Surrounded by snoring content cats cacooned in specially constructed baskets, with wall mazes and tunnels to cavort in whilst you colour in the picture books with amply provided crayons you can simply forget where you are and escape from the hustle, bustle and craziness that begets any major city.
In short have no fear about visiting the opulent city which boasts generous mix of ancient and modern, entwined together as though born of one era. Any needs will be well catered for and even those that have not learned English or another language are as helpful and humble to any visitor as you could expect of a people proud of their heritage.
There are so many sights to see it is really down to personal preference, but you will find even without a guided tour that most iconic visions are easily located and the city is compactly arranged almost for your convenience. One tip I do have if you decide not to purchase a tour is this, when you arrive at the colosseum, by pass all the queues and proceed directly to the palatin where you will find the queue is substantially shorter as this is a much less popular concern. Buy your ticket here for 16 Euros which includes 3 sites for visiting, one of which is the colosseum. The ticket will last for 24hrs but with just one entry to the colosseum. You may dip in and out of the fort and the grounds as often as you wish in the 24hrs though, and believe me you could wander for hours. We stumbled across an archeological dating expedition which was fascinating to witness.
Whatever you decide to visit, I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed by food, the shopping, the people, the sights or the experience. We made the trip a little cheaper by staying 10km outside of the city centre. Our hotel called Black hotel, was a 4 star with plenty of amenities that increase during the summer as the outdoor pool and sun lounge area open. The hotel is beautifully embedded in the Italian countryside in a secluded spot that ensures you awaken to only the sound of the bird chorus. Tranquil in it’s setting and by its design. The hotel has its quirks to say the least, for example its determination to avoid any right angles. Triangles are the preferential angle which can be seen in the rooms and around the hotel. It almost begs to be experienced as it is truly unique in design and purpose. Trendy and with an eclectic staffing, cocktails and an award winning restaurant complete the entourage. They provide a free courtesy bus every morning to the nearest metro station. 8.30am, 9.30am and 10.30am. The metro was easily navigated and not intimidating once you got used to the presence of the armed soldiers. Protected rather than anything, which was evident throughout the holiday. Security checks and the guard and police presence lent itself to a sense of safety amongst chaos. I can honestly say If you haven’t already done so, add this to your bucket list.