Being vegan is not a common phenomenon in Italy where dairy and eggs are staples. In some places it may be difficult to find a single dish on the menu that is vegan. This should not disappoint anyone travelling to Italy because people love to please and food challenges are a national hobby. You will find that more often than not, restaurant staff will be willing to prepare a vegan version of a dish for you and, if they have nothing special to offer you, they will still make a delicious salad or a Pizza Marinara that will make your day. See Italian Vegan Food tab for more options. Another good thing is that Italians rarely use butter. Olive oil is their preferred choice of fat, which is helpful to vegans (Find our Top Italian Vegan Dishes).
There is a new trend to start labeling dishes as vegan or vegetarian on menus in some regular restaurants. There are many vegan restaurants in Italy and you will love going to those. The thing is that everybody, including meat eaters, also love going to them and the restaurants are often full, making it is difficult to find a place without a reservation. Make sure to reserve a table before you leave your hotel.
Not many people speak good English outside of the big cities, so it would be wise to learn the basics from our Italian Vegan Words tab to make yourself understood. Remember also that some people will confuse “vegan” with” fish (or even chicken) eating vegetarians”.
Detail your restrictions for clarity’s sake. As far as supermarkets are concerned, you will find everything you need there, from canned chickpeas, kidney beans to fresh vegetables, freshly prepared breads etc. but processed might only be labeled in Italian so make sure to check our Snacks & Stores tab to get a better idea of your options.
Stalk the open-air markets that pop up on different days around cities and villages. This is where you will discover what tomatoes, apricots, peaches, zucchinis and eggplants should really taste like. Find the local wineries for the best wines in southern Europe.
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