This summer we had a wonderful holiday to Puglia in Italy and I found eating gluten free there to be super easy. Italy is the best country for coeliacs, in my opinion, given the wide awareness of the condition and availability of gluten free foods. Have a read of my Gluten Free Italy Country Guide for general tips and resources if you are planning a trip.
Otherwise, read on for some recommendations specific to the Puglia region. It’s a beautiful part of Italy so if you are planning a summer holiday here you can officially start getting excited!
This guide is broken down by city/town and then you will also find a section at the end about gluten free Puglia supermarket options. I have included some details on Bari airport as this is the one we flew in/out of. This guide focuses largely on the centre and North of the region.
Gluten Free Puglia Guide
Capital of the region, Bari is located on the seafront and has a couple of exceptionally good gluten free bakeries to help fuel your city exploring.
Fully gluten free bakery La Gouterie is tucked away off a main road in a very non-descript square but it is worth seeking out. They sell various sweet and savoury baked goods, cakes and products. My number one recommendation is their gluten free croissant. I had one and it was possibly the best gluten free croissant of my life. A jam filled one with incredible pastry layers that even my non-gluten free friends thought was amazing.
They also sell a gluten free version of an Italian speciality called parigine, which is soft gluten free bread rolled with cream cheese, another cheese, ham, pepperoni then baked with sesame seeds on top until crisp on the outside. Very delicious.
Another incredible fully gluten free bakery in Bari. From croissants, gluten free cakes, baked goods, savoury treats and an entire fridge full of gluten free cheesecakes. What a place! I had a wonderful gluten free cannolo from Colibrio. Beautiful crisp pastry filled with cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate chips. Seriously good.
My heart might have broken slightly when we arrived to find them having finished serving lunch (the opening times on Google lie!), but they offer coeliac safe gluten free pizza to eat in or take away. See the official openings times in the photo below!
Offers gluten free coeliac safe pizza. Accredited by the Italian coeliac society.
Bakery offering a line of gluten free products.
There were actually loads of gluten free options at Bari airport itself, both pre and post security. I picked up a gluten free Grom gelato cookie ice cream sandwich from deCanto pre departures. This cafe also had coeliac safe pizza, lasagne, muffins and pannini.
We found similar offerings in the departure lounge but grab that ice cream cookie sandwich before you head through.
We didn’t make it to Lecce, but I would love to go back to visit as it has a reputation as one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. I had originally planned to visit for the day (but with three babies in tow our group decided not to venture down) so here are the places I found as potential for coeliac friendly food. Most of these are accredited by the Italian coeliac society:
- Trattoria Fiori di Zucca – wide range of gluten free menu options
- I Paladini – gluten free pizza available
- La Pagghiara – everything can be made gluten free
- Osteria Della Divina Provvidenza – gluten free pasta and plenty of other choices too
- Volo Restaurant – a full coeliac-friendly gluten free menu
- Gluten free & Bio – gluten free shop
- Pizzeria Zio Giglio – gluten free pizza
If you happen to be passing through, this specialty frozen food shop offers shelves full of various gluten free products.
This bakery is located in Ostuni but you can also find their products on sale at various supermarkets in the local area (in the gluten free sections and freezer). I tried a wonderful gluten free panzerotto from the Ostuni bakery – a sort of thin pizza dough pasty filled with tomato and mozzarella, served warm. I also really enjoyed their fresh pasta, which I found in our local supermarket in Ceglie Messapica.
In central Ostuni, this gelateria is accredited by the Italian Coeliac Society as coeliac safe. They have gluten free cones and the server knew to wash her hands and change equipment before preparing my icecream. The gluten free cones were also stored individually sealed.
A good deal of gluten free food is available here, including pizza and Puglian specialities. Oh, plus chips and beer, hooray!
A stunning town in the centre of the region, Alberbello is a must visit in my opinion. The centre is full of typical Puglian trulli houses and having a wander round is a fascinating. Note it gets really hot in the height of summer so best to visit early or late in the day. I spotted a gluten free friendly restaurant while we were exploring.
AIC accredited restaurant. It was closed when we went but with their Italian coeliac society accreditation they should be a safe bet.
I really liked this little town. It has a brilliant fresh produce market, plus a maze of white-washed streets that are a dream to potter around. The town is famed for its butchers and meat offering and you will find a whole host of amazing local restaurants specialising in grilled meats and homemade sausages.
I was determined to sample the local specialities myself and we lucked out with this trattoria. Most of the menu was gluten free and they were amazing re cross contamination: changing boards, gloves and advising what I could have (90% of the butchery counter including homemade sausages). Their chips are not coeliac friendly but they provided me with baked potato instead and it was fab to be able to experience the local cusine. Those homemade sausages were epic.
Gluten free aperitivo!!! Aperitivo is a real Italian tradition, a sort of pre dinner drinks and nibbles situation, but heavy on the nibbles. Cheese & Co offer a gluten free version, which I was very excited to discover. They are Italian coeliac society accredited too, so coeliacs can feel safe eating here. They also offer lunch and dinner.
Gluten free marked on menu and excellent food. Al fresco tables in the lovely alleyways of this town.
The pottery quarter of this little town is incredible and you must visit if you are a crockery lover! Lots of cool street art and ceramics treasure troves, you had better take an extra suitcase. We didn’t eat but there are a few accredited restaurants here:
Perched atop a little hill, Locorotondo is a beautiful small town in the region. We went for sunset views at aperitivo time and it was bliss.
We stayed in the countryside by Ceglie and there is a brilliant pizzeria catering for coeliacs that I want to recommend. The town also had a great market to explore.
Family run, they prepare and bake the gluten free pizzas in a dedicated area and also make coeliac safe hand cut chips (patatine fritte), which were delicious. Oh and to top it all off they sell gluten free peroni too and a wide range of desserts. The pizza itself was excellent – crispy crusts and a pliable bases (also perfect as leftovers the next day)
Some Italian coeliac society accredited venues in Monopoli and Martina Franca include:
- Ristorante dal Ghiottone (Monopoli)
- Al Focolare (Martina Franca)
- Ristorante La Rotonda (Martina Franca)
- Latteria Del Ringo (Martina Franca)
Two Italian coeliac society accredited venues in Noci:
- PiazzAntica Ristorante Pizzeria
- Otto Il Panzerotto
A classic historic Puglian town, within reach of some amazing cave networks.
Gluten free shop with free baked gluten free goods on sale and fresh pasta too! Perfect for stocking up on self-catering gluten free treats.
Gluten free pizza made with homemade dough created by their pizza chef. The pizzas here are wonderful and suitable for coeliacs. Accredited by the Italian coeliac society.
Highly reviewed restaurant with gluten free options that is able to cater well for coeliacs and is very welcoming.
Fancy food and great care and attention taken for gluten free diners. Give them advance notice if possible at this fine dining restaurant.
Ice cream parlour accredited by the Italian coeliac society.
Another Italian coeliac society accredited gelateria.
The supermarkets in Italy are stocked with loads of incredible gluten free products and huge variety, from gluten free beer and pasta (I counted 12 varieties of gluten free pasta in our small village supermarket) to croissant, nutella wafers and biscuit ice cream sandwiches. Look out for “senza glutine” on products, which is Italian for gluten free. You will usually find a dedicated free from section in supermarkets here with all the gluten free items grouped together, but it is worth keeping an eye out for extras in the fridge and freezer sections.
It seems like every supermarket here sells a huge range of gluten free. Below you can see a selection of the gluten free treats I amassed during our stay: mini muffins, pizza flour to make at home, fresh pasta, croissants, loads of varieties of dried pasta, rosemary sea salt crackers, baguettes and chocolate wafers. You will find loads of lactose free products too and more emphasis on palm oil free, which I applaud!
For general tips about travelling to Italy as a coeliac please have a read of my country guide:
In it you’ll find links to loads of other specific Italian town and region guides, plus top tips for how to stay safe as a coeliac in Italy and some handy resources you can call upon.
Have a great trip! x