Are you a vegetarian planning to travel to Italy? Don't worry because we have the right tips to make the best out of your vegetarian trip!
If you are a vegetarian, you know that things could be more complex when you are on vacation. Going out of your comfort zone, in fact, means that all our certainties may be gone.
A vegetarian person chooses not to eat fish and meat. He or she eats diaries and eggs instead. So, of the renowned Italian cuisine what's left?
For many people, and some Italians as well, the answer to this question is difficult. We are made to think that typical Italian dishes are made with fish and meat. So what can vegetarians and vegans eat? Nothing more than vegetables and fruits is the common opinion.
But let us tell you this: what do you think if we ask you which are the most popular Italian dishes? You may tell us pizza margherita, and pasta with tomato sauce. They are all vegetarian dishes, aren't they?
Traveling to Italy is definitely so easy even if you are vegetarian. Let us reassure you with our 5+1 tips to make the best out of your trip without fish and meat. It's going to be delicious!
Before we start: some typical Italian vegetarian dishes you should try
Among all the Italian vegetarian dishes we would like to start from 'parmigiana di melanzane' (eggplant parmigiana). But we also have the 'Sicilian caponata' (fried eggplants and other vegetables) and the 'Tuscan pappa al pomodoro' (tomato soup).
For instance, in the Abruzzo region, even if one of the most popular dishes is 'arrosticini', made with meat, you may also eat the delicious 'pallotte cacio e ove', which are vegetarian dumplings made with eggs, cheese and bread. Or 'sagne e fagioli', a type of egg pasta with beans (yes, in Central Italy pulses are so typical and so good!).
Some other examples, would you?
If you are traveling to Rome don't lose the chance to eat pasta with 'cacio e pepe' sauce (type of cheese plus pepper) and the 'carciofi alla romana' (an artichoke recipe); at the mountains (especially in the Alps area) try 'polenta with mushrooms' or the delicious fonduta (melted cheese).
Speaking about cheese, Italy is a crazy place to eat it: 'parmesan', 'mozzarella', 'pecorino' and the queen of them all, the 'burrata'.
Let's not forget about soups and 'risotto' made with all types of vegetables, cheese or mushrooms.
Now that you are starting to get hungry, it's time we share our 5+1 tips with you!
5. If you are vegetarian, get informed about Italian cuisine beforehands
You may know that 'Italian cuisine' means a variety of dishes. Here in Italy typical dishes differ from one region to another and also from one place to another. What you eat typically in Val d'Aosta is probably uncommon in Sicily, for example.
So, it's important that before you start your Italian holidays, you get informed about the local cuisine and all the vegetarian dishes you may try once you arrive.
We have experienced a little preliminary gastronomic adventure, but the truth is that in each corner of Italy you will go you will find tasty vegetarian temptations.
4. Download all the veg-friendly apps
To make the most of your vacation and not search for hours for places that give vegetarian alternatives, it might be helpful to rely on technology.
Nowadays, there are in fact dozens of veg-friendly apps that have saved more than one person, whether vegetarian or vegan. In fact, by quickly scrolling through your phone's store, you can find numerous app alternatives. Some apps not only suggest restaurants that offer vegetarian and vegan options, but also veg-friendly B&Bs and hotels.
In addition to plant-based cuisine, some apps also provide maps of stores that wink at the plant-based world: stores, cafes, even pharmacies.
In short, these apps provide not only a wealth of suggestions, but also the support of an equally great community.
3. Enjoy the local fruit and vegetable markets: a tasty experience
To get into the groove of a vacation, often the best thing to do is to flock to local markets. If you've chosen to eat vegetarian, fruit and vegetable markets are an unmissable resource while on the road.
Local fruits and vegetables that you might not find by shopping at the supermarket, but also local milk and cheeses we talked about above. Field herbs and particular varieties of far better-known produce may in fact not be available within the larger stores.
Exploring fruit and vegetable markets will allow you to get in touch with the culture of the place, but also with its cuisine. And a really tasty and genuine cuisine.
2. Try also restaurants which are not exclusively vegetarian
A person who has chosen to eat vegetarian knows that very often in restaurants which are not exclusively vegan or vegetarian there is not a wide choice of offerings. In the vast majority of cases, only one or two vegetarian dishes are offered (salad included).
When you are traveling, however, don't let this thing limit you and don't give up the experiences you most want to have. A meat sauce ('ragù') is easily converted to a tomato sauce, for example. Or you can easily ask the waiter to remove an animal ingredient from the dish. Don't forget you are in Italy and a vegetarian pizza is often a good choice.
Very often, it will happen that the restaurant itself will come up with ad hoc vegetarian alternatives.
In short, with a little flexibility on one side and the other, it will be really easy to succeed in eating with taste at all stages of one's journey!
1. A vegetarian trip is a flexible trip
When we go on holiday, we would like everything to go smoothly and to be perfect all the time. As we well know, however, it is often our own expectation that causes the vacation not to be as perfect as we would like.
Choosing to eat vegetarian could be seen as an obstacle to enjoying one's trip. In truth, it all depends on one's attitude toward the choice one has made and one's attitude toward the vacation itself.
If you can't find veg-friendly restaurants maybe you will find something interesting in stores, supermarkets or some food trucks.
Being flexible and not letting everyday little inconveniences get the better of our relaxing days is the most important advice of all.
At that point you will see that the thought of what to eat while on vacation will no longer be an obstacle, but a new and wonderful opportunity for discovery. Whether you are a vegetarian or not.
Anyway, just in case, wine and beer are vegetarian drinks!
If you are traveling to Italy, you may want to know all the expressions and words related to the vegetarian world.
Do not worry because some of the words you will use are very similar to English, like:
- 'Vegetarian' is translated into 'vegetariano' (male), or 'vegetariana' (female);
- 'I am vegetarian' is translated into 'Sono vegetariano' or 'Sono vegetariana'.
Using your translator apps or an English-Italian dictionary it will be easy for you to express your needs to restaurants.
Please note that you can meet people who are unaware of the vegetarian world. So make sure they understand you don't eat meat ('carne' in Italian) and fish ('pesce')!
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