Some of the most magical villages in Italy, Cinque Terre is a must visit for anyone heading to the West of Italy. Colourful houses perch impossibly on cliff tops and visitors are able to hike between villages, soaking up incredible views along the way.
We visited in late spring, with our very young baby in tow, hence we mainly stuck to the village streets and small beaches. Gluten free food in Cinque Terre was not as easy to find as in other parts of Italy, however I’ve rounded up all my finds. I’ve also included gluten free restaurant suggestions I found online during my pre-trip research.
We stayed in La Spezia, which was a brilliant base from which to get the train into the villages. It was much cheaper and there was an AMAZING gluten free pizza place down the road from our AirBnB. If you haven’t used AirBnB before I would highly recommend it. It gives gluten free travellers the freedom to cater some meals at home and is great if you want a bit more space than a hotel (usually for a cheaper rate too). Click here to join and you will receive £34 credit – £25 off a home booking and £9 towards experience bookings. When the code is used I also receive credit, which I would be grateful for. This is at no cost to you, of course :).
In this gluten free Cinque Terre guide you will find gluten free restaurant, cafe and other food suggestions for each of the villages. I have also included the main towns (La Spezia and Levanto) either side of Cinque Terre. Also featured is Porto Venere, as I loved it and really would recommend a trip here. It’s less touristy and has a more relaxed vibe.
I have included a few hotel ideas in this gluten free Cinque Terre guide too. I have not tried these personally, but tried to find a top reviewed accomodation option for each place.
Not a glamorous destination in itself, but an excellent base. We stayed here and found plenty of dining options and some amazing (and cheap) gluten free pizza. The trains run to Cinque Terre really regularly and the station is located in the town centre. Here are some gluten free La Spezia restaurant and other eatery finds:
- Amalia Gluten Free – fully gluten free bakery and shop. Many of their products are also lactose free. Cookies, doughnuts, arancini, you name it they’ve got it!
- Bella Napoli Pizzeria – we hand takeaway pizza from here twice as it was super cheap, excellent gluten free pizza! Their pizzas are coeliac safe as they have a separate area dedicated to the gluten free pizzas. The place doesn’t look like much on the outside but it’s an authentic Italian pizzeria and well worth trying. They also have some dine in seating if you don’t want to takeaway.
- Gelateria Stella Marina – this coeliac friendly ice cream shop has plenty of gluten free choices. They will prepare your gelato safely if you let them know you are coeliac.
- Gluten Free Shop La Spezia – we walked past this place a couple of times but it was always shut! If you are passing it’s worth checking out, as they sell a wide range of gluten free products (apparently).
- Pizzeria Il Lagora di Isoppo Federico – this pizzeria is AIC (Italian coeliac society) accredited. You’ll find a large selection of gluten free pizzas to choose from on their menu.
- Hosteria al Leon d’Oro – AIC accredited restaurant. Offers homemade gluten free pasta, other dishes and gluten free desserts on their menu.
Where to Stay:
- The Poet Hotel – this lovely little boutique hotel looks gorgeous and is great value. Great location in the centre of town, walking distance both to the gluten free bakery, restaurants and the train station.
We didn’t visit Levanto, however I know some people choose so base themselves here. Here are a couple of gluten free Levanto tips to get you started:
- La Loggia – this family-friendly restaurant is AIC (Italian coeliac society) accredited. Hence, it should be a good bet for coeliac and gluten free customers. They offer a variety of gluten free meals including gluten free pasta, bread and dessert.
- Osteria Tumelin – well rated by other coeliac visitors, they have gluten free pasta available.
- La Picea di La Rosa Riccardo – this restaurant often shares gluten free friendly dishes on their Facebook. Apparently they have gluten free pizza available if you order in advance. Please check that the pizza is coeliac friendly before you order.
Where to stay:
- A Durmi B&B – this bed and breakfast receives rave reviews. One noted that the owners were extremely helpful at recommending and booking gluten free-friendly restaurants for one of the guests.
As I mentioned in the introduction, Porto Venere is seriously underrated. We spent a lunch and afternoon wandering around here and it had a lovely, relaxed atmosphere. Here are some gluten free Porto Venere eating recommendations:
- Palmaria – we headed here for our wedding anniversary lunch! I was very happy with an incredible view and chilled local white wine to go with our gluten free pasta. This restaurant has a dedicated coeliac menu and is AIC (Italian coeliac society) accredited. Lots of lovely choices and that view really was spectacular.
- Ristorante Il Gambero – this restaurant also has AIC accreditation and offers a seafood-focused menu to diners.
Where to stay:
- Grand Hotel – treat yourself to a stay at this hotel, which has the AIC-accredited Palmaria restaurant on its premises. I assume they are therefore very able at catering for coeliac guests and the views from this hotel are beautiful.
Gluten Free Cinque Terre Villages
Perched upon a hilltop, Corniglia is known as the “quiet” village in Cinque Terre. We were not able to visit on our trip (due to it being incredibly hot and us not wanting to hike with a baby in that weather!), but here is the research I did before our trip. Hopefully this will be a good starting point for you guys:
- Caffe Matteo – this cafe offers gluten free pizza, according to reviews online.
- Da Cecio Ristorante – this restaurant apparently offers gluten free meals, including pasta, and has a beautiful terrace with views.
Where to stay:
- Bed & Breakfast La Terrazza – this is the best rated accomodation in Coniglia, based on traveller reviews on TripAdvisor.
Beautiful colourful houses as far as the eye can see! Manarola is one of the larger villages and has sea access (no beach though). It gets very busy but there are some cute backstreets to escape into:
- Gelateria 5Terre – a fully gluten free gelateria where you can get not only ice cream but also gluten free cannoli! Their ice cream is also lactose free and they offer some vegan options too. I have also seen some more recent reviews mentioning gluten free crepes.
- Aristide – this restaurant is well-reviewed by other gluten free visitors. You should find gluten free pasta, fresh seafood and other dishes available.
- Il Discovolo La Spezia – a little hole-in-the wall place. This spot offers a large variety of gluten free options, such as gluten free foccacia.
- Nessun Dorma – this little place is really well-reviewed. Both generally for the quality of its food and for being very accomodating towards gluten free diners. It also has incredible views.
- Trattoria dal Billy – you’ll need to book in advance to bag one of their coveted outdoor tables with a view. This restaurant seems to be able to cater well for gluten free guests and accommodate other allergies.
- Ristorante Marina Piccola – this restaurant offers gluten free pasta and staff show good knowledge. For example, advising people to not eat the fries as they are cooked in a mixed fryer.
Where to stay:
- La Linea d’Acqua – escape the crowds and stay in this small hotel up the hill, which is very well-reviewed.
Monterosso al Mare
With the biggest beach (and the most accessible) of the villages, Monterosso might be a good place to base yourself. Especially if you would like to stay in Cinque Terre itself and have a bit of a sightseeing beach holiday. Here are a few gluten free Monterosso al Mare recommendations:
- Da Eraldo – this place receives dozens of positive Tripadvisor reviews about gluten free. They all cite helpful staff and the availability of gluten free bread and pasta.
- Gastronomia San Martino – quick, simple food. A good place to visit as they are clued up on allergies and able to cater for gluten free customers.
- L’Ancora dell Tortuga – very accommodating to gluten free customers, willing to modify dishes and provide gluten free bread. Impressive views to boot!
- La Cantina di Miky – this menu has a number of gluten free options. Staff try their best to minimise any cross contamination risk if you tell them you are gluten intolerant. Featured in the Michelin guide.
- La Taverna di Monterosso – gets good reviews from other coeliacs. Seems to be very gluten free friendly with many dishes able to be adapted. Gluten free pasta usually available.
- Pizzeria La Smorfia – gluten free pizzas and beer available here, suitable for coeliacs.
- Wonderland Bakery – a gluteny bakery but they have a small cabinet of pre-packaged gluten free goods, including bread and cakes.
Where to stay:
- Hotel Porto Roca – this hotel has a beautiful pool with glorious views, like something out of an Italian holiday dream! Their website says they can offer gluten free breakfast.
While we found Riomaggiore to be very beautiful, it was super busy when we arrived and we didn’t stay long. My highlight was a gluten free cookie ice cream sandwich, from the train station shop (see pic below for packaging). However, if you don’t have a small baby in tow, do spend a while longer exploring! Here are some gluten free Riomaggiore food options:
- La Cantina del Macellaio – this restaurant is gluten free friendly and they even have gluten free bread and pasta available. Helpful staff too.
- Rio Bistrot – very welcoming to gluten free customers. They offer gluten free bread (reviews say it is delicious) and are able to adapt many dishes.
- Veciu Muin – this restaurant is very clued up on coeliac needs. Staff can advise which dishes are gluten free, which can be adapted and which are at risk of cross contamination. The menu includes gluten free pizza and pasta too!
Where to stay:
- Locanda del Sole – great value and with lots of good reviews, this little B&B is a strong choice for Riomaggiore.
My favourite in Cinque Terre, we had a lovely swim in the sea after climbing the hill to admire the views. It’s another busy one, but there’s a bit more space to escape the crowds here. Simply head up the hill for a walk. Here are a few Vernazza gluten free tips:
- Lunch Box – this place gets dozens of great reviews from coeliacs, offering gluten free sandwiches and other dishes alongside gluteny alternatives for your travel companions.
- Ristorante Vulnetia – offers gluten free pasta and Schar prepacked bread.
- Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre – very accommodating with gluten free, willing to adapt lots of dishes to make them coeliac friendly.
- Ristorante Belforte – this lovely restaurant has gluten free options available and beautiful views from the terrace.
Where to stay:
- Camere Giuliano – one of the top rated B&Bs in Vernazza. It is located right in the centre and rooms have balconies with sea views.
Wowie that turned into a much bigger gluten free Cinque Terre guide than I was expecting to write! I hope you enjoy your trip to Cinque Terre and do send me an email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any edits or additions.
If you are visiting other places in Italy do check out my other Italy guides, I have lots of individual city guides plus a country-level guide with some handy gluten free tips and Italian phrases:
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