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The Celiac in Italy Interview-Part 3

Interview with The Celiac in Italy-Part 3

How difficult is it to find food in Italy gluten-free?

Is it easy for you to find gluten-free options at the grocery store? What is gluten-free called in Italy?

"Yes, it’s pretty easy. Most grocery stores have a shelf specifically for all the gluten-free products so it’s very easy to find. You can also find some basic gluten-free products in most pharmacies because it’s considered a medical necessity for celiacs to have access to safe food. “Gluten-free” in Italian is “senza glutine.”

Are foods clearly marked gluten-free?

"Yep! In Europe, it's legally required that all allergens be listed in bold which makes it easy."

What would you say is your biggest struggle eating gluten-free in Italy?

"Honestly, it’s pretty easy! That is why I moved here after all:) I am very familiar with the safe restaurants in Italy which is why I’ve been offering travel consulting for other celiacs planning trips to Italy. I’d say my biggest struggle is probably that in addition to celiac disease I have other allergies and intolerances so it can be a lot to navigate."

Is eating gluten-free more expensive in Italy?

"Like most places, gluten-free alternatives tend to be a bit more expensive. I love to cook so I buy mostly whole food ingredients anyway, but it can get expensive if you’re buying more packaged foods."

Does the Italian government help with the expense of gluten-free food?

"Yes, if you are a resident enrolled in the public health system you are likely eligible for a monthly stipend to cover the extra cost of food."

Do you have to worry about gluten in your over the counter or prescribed medication?

"It’s always a possibility but, unlike the US, they do have to disclose which allergens are present in medications and if you have any doubts the pharmacist can pull up a complete list of ingredients."

Coming Soon...Celiac in the U.S. compared to Italy-is there a difference?

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