I just wanted to share with everyone that my recent 11 day trip to Italy went without a hitch - no peanut problems whatsoever! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I was so worried before hand, but by sticking to fresh fruit and rice cereal at breakfast, pizza for lunch, and salads/grilled veggies at dinner (I'm vegetarian and PA only...), I had absolutely no problems.
I *did* go as part of a tour (Perillo tour, really wonderful!), and made sure the tour guide knew of the food allergy right away; she was very diligent and called the scheduled dinner restaurants every day before hand (breakfast was on our own in the hotel, lunch was totally on our own), and I'm happy to say I brought all six epi-pens and didn't have to use one. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Many of the top-level staff at the hotels and restaurants knew at least a bit of english, so communicating was no problem. I did stay away from the gelato stands [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] and the same things I stay away from here - bakery goods, packaged foods not clearly labelling against peanut ingredients, etc, but made it up to myself with the espresso and the wine. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
I also went prepared with wallet-sized cards explaining in Italian the peanut allergy (on one side), and asking for emergency care (on the other). Again, I didn't need to use them, but I did feel better carrying them, and knowing I could communicate the necessary facts if needed.
All in all a wonderful time; I will never let myself be afraid of travel to Europe again, and just know to prepare certain things ahead of time, then ENJOY! *wow* I can't wait to go back!!!!
On Jun 19, 2004
hey thats great to know your trip was a success. gives us renewed hope of our future trip (not yet planned) to italy. how familiar did they seem about pa? I did hear that someone died of pa in the past two months! (at a kids bday party, ate cake that had almonds, and wasnt supposed to have any nuts).
On Jun 22, 2004
Well, I think in general upper-level restaurant staff were aware that nut allergies can be a big problem for some people, though I'm not sure that awareness stretches over to contamination issues as well. I was lucky in that I could trust our tour guide to notify the restaurants in advance, so really I was a bit out of the loop, except at lunch, where I grabbed a fresh salad or a slice of pizza...
Wish I could be more help, but really my advice would be to follow the same procedures you follow when going out to any restaurant at home, and to prepare some wallet-sized cards with the needed information on them in Italian to take with you on the trip. (For this I used the FAAN website, a traveler's Italian-English dictionary, and free online translator service at [url="http://www.babelfish.altavista.com)"]www.babelfish.altavista.com)[/url] Our guide suggested that peanuts were really only used as snacks in Italy - not a staple in any of their meals, though of course I recommend being ever-vigilant! (especially if you are dealing with tree nut allergies as well; these were quite prevalent in desserts etc.)
Best of luck in your future trip!
On Jul 8, 2004
We officially now planning a trip to italy late this summer (end of august) and hope that all will go well. I've told my dd that as usual, we'll bring her safe treats, but not to get jealous about us having the ice cream. She's 8 now and said she'll be fine with an alternate treat,lucky shes pretty mature for her age!
On Aug 6, 2004
Just finished booking our trip to Italy for a couple of weeks starting Aug 26. Hope the plane ride is ok (Alitalia). Any other recent travellers have any other input?
On Sep 14, 2004
Just returned from our trip to Italy, and we too, had a wonderful experience that was incident-free. My pa daughter even got to have gelato while up in the north. the owner assured us that the fruit flavours were made separately and didnt come in contact with the cream flavours. Also, she enjoyed a couple of soft ice creams at McDonalds!
On Sep 17, 2004
Glad you had a safe and fun trip, and that your daughter was able to try the gelato! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] What a beautiful country. I just tonight had reason to drink the bottle of wine I brought back from Siena...what wonderful memories it brought back. Here's to more safe trips in the future!
On Sep 17, 2004
Andromeda, yes it certainly was beautiful and the ice cream was fantastic!
On Sep 18, 2004
This is wonderful to read! I love to hear about people traveling safely with food allergies. My PA son is 8 and already loves to travel, so I hope he can travel safely in the future.
On Oct 25, 2004
Andromeda - we just returned from 10 days in Italy (you mentioned Siena - one of our favourite stops!!)
We loved it so much. While we left the kids at home this time, we would love to take them -next year. We are already planning to return!
I think if DS sticks to pasta, pizza, etc in restaurants, we would be okay. We plan to rent a farmhouse apartment next time, so we could do some of our own shopping - snack food, breakfasts, etc. Most restaurant staff spoke enough english to get by - but I would definitely have a card with Italian translation made when we go.
We loved Tuscany! We flew Lufthansa - service was great.
Good to hear others experiences - will be raising this later! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]