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Rome Vegan Guide

Rome is a beautiful city filled with historic landmarks to visit and so much incredible vegan food. Not only are there lots of restaurants and cafes with clearly marked vegan items on their menu, but pretty much every restaurant we visited was able to easily veganise their dishes by simply removing the cheese. This made it super easy to eat vegan with little to no planning! However, I’ve compiled this city guide of all of the food, attraction & accommodation highlights of our trip so that you can come to Rome feeling prepared, without having to do any of the planning! I hope you have an awesome time in Rome!

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WHERE TO EAT ▹▸▹

As we visited Rome with non-vegan friends, the majority of our meals were not at vegan restaurants, so before I get into the delicious meals we ate at restaurants with vegan items on their menu, I thought it’d be helpful to share how we veganised meals at most restaurants. For starter, we would typically order bruschetta which was nearly always naturally vegan without any modifications required. Then for main, we would order spaghetti pomodoro or arabiata (and be sure to check there was no egg in the pasta) or a marinara pizza (which naturally has no cheese) with added veggies (and be sure to check there was no milk or eggs in the base). For desert, we would head to a gelateria , lots of which had clearly labelled vegan options.

Rifugio Romano

Rifugio Romano was by far the food highlight of our trip. I loved it so much that I wrote the restaurant its own full review here, but I’ll sum up the key details in this guide too.  The restaurant is located close to Termini station and has a small seating area both outside and inside. Both times we visited it was super busy – a testament to how amazing the food is – so be prepared to wait a little while if you’re in a bigger group. The restaurant has an extensive vegan menu as well as a non-vegan menu, making it the perfect place to visit with non-vegan family and friends.

We were spoilt for choice so decided to order lots of dishes to share – falafel, arancino, crocchetta, carbonara, lasagne, tiramisu & a creamy caramel biscuit desert that I can’t remember the name of – they were all absolulety delicious.

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Vivi Bistrot

Vivi Bistrot is located in Piazza Navona and has both vegan and non-vegan items on their menu. After days of eating exclusively pizza and pasta, we all ordered burgers, and let me tell you, this burger is one of the best I’ve ever eaten!

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Ristorante Porta Castello

This cute little vegan-friendly restaurant is located close to the Vatican and serves delicious pizzas that are so big, they are bursting off the plate, so be sure to bring your appetite.

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Di Quà

Di Qua is a beautifully decorated restaurant near the Spanish Steps which had a few dishes that could easily be veganised. I had a mixed bruschetta and Matt had a spaghetti arrabbiata which he absolutely loved!

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Arena Del Gelato

This little gelateria located close to Vatican City has a huge range of vegan gelato including this delicious dark chocolate flavour.

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WHAT TO DO ▹▸▹

The Vatican & Sisteen Chapel

A tour of the vatican is a must do whilst you’re in Rome as the architcture and art is breathtaking! Be sure to book your tickets in advance, as the queue to get tickets on the day can be hours long! We purchased entry tickets with an audio guide so that we could explore at our own leisure.

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The Colosseum

Not only is the Colosseum a stunning piece of architecture, it also has a fascinating and extremely gory history so I would definitely recommend purchasing an audioguide on your visit. Once again, we booked our tickets in advance, to avoid hours of queuing on the day.

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The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is another must visit whilst you’re in Rome. As it is an historic piece of architecture and is in a public place and therefore free to visit, it is always packed with tourists in peak season. Despite the crowds, it is still a beautiful place to chill out with some gelato (we found an awesome vegan-friendly gelateria close by – Antica Gelateria Trevi).

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WHERE TO STAY ▹▸▹

We stayed in a beautiful hotel which was walking distance (assuming you don’t mind 40 minute walks) from all of the major attractions. The best part of our hotel was definitely the rooftop terrace which was a cool place to chill out in the evening with a few cocktails with a view overlooking St Peter’s Basilica.

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I hope you found this guide helpful and if you have any awesome vegan-friendly restaurants to recommend, be sure to comment them below.

VEGAN TRAVEL TIPS

As you all know, I absolutely love travelling and have shared lots of vegan travel posts on this blog and on my YouTube channel over the past couple of years. So, when I was asked to give a speech at the first ever Surrey Vegan Fair (which took place last weekend), I decided to talk about: MY TOP TIPS TO MAKE TRAVELLING AS A VEGAN AS FUN, EASY & STRESS-FREE AS POSSIBLE! It was such a fun experience and I think the tips are all super helpful, so I decided to write them up into a blog post so that you can all access them any time you like! If you have any tips to add, be sure to write them in the comments down below!

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RESEARCH RESTAURANTS

I always set aside around an hour before going on a trip to research vegan / vegan-friendly restaurants in location where I’ll be staying. The main resources I use to do this are:

  • Happy Cow – great website for finding vegan & vegan-friendly restaurants
  • Blogs – google vegan (location) i.e. vegan LA and lots of blogs will pop up
  • YouTube – search vegan (location) and you can watch loads of travel diaries / guides
  • Instagram – searching #vegan(location) is a great way to find delicious looking food
  • Google / Apple maps –  go to the maps app on your smartphone, type in ‘vegan (location)‘, it will pop up with a whole bunch of pins and you can find restaurants near where you’ll be staying

After I’ve done a little research, I prepare a list of the top restaurants that I want to visit and take that with me on my trip.

BE PREPARED

Being prepared will require a little bit of pre-planning but it will save you so much time and stress on your trip so will definitely be worth it. There are 3 main ways I prepare:

  • Take snacks: As you’ll probably be going on trips / exploring during the day, you won’t always be able to plan where you’ll be and if there’ll be a vegan restaurant near by. I therefore like to take snacks with me, and any type of protein / breakfast bar such as Clif bars are great, as they’re filling and fuel you for your day.
  • Find a supermarket / health food store near by: before my trip, I always do a quick google search to see if there’s a store nearby where I’ll be staying, so that I know I’ll be able to buy snacks there, and therefore don’t have to bring them with me.
  • Contact in advance:
    • The accommodation I’ll be staying at to see if they offer vegan meals or if anything they serve can be veganised.
    • The airline I’ll be flying with to book a vegan meal for the flight.

USE A LANGUAGE AID

If you’re travelling to a country where you don’t speak the native language, you’ll need a way to communicate your dietary needs. The way I do this is to:

  • Learn how to say: ‘vegan / vegetarian no eggs or dairy‘ if I feel comfortable speaking in the native language (which doesn’t happen very often).
  • Save translated phrase on phone / print card: before my trip I use google translate to translate the phrase ‘vegan / vegetarian no eggs or dairy‘. I then print screen it and save it as a photo on my phone to show to the waiters/waitresses in any restaurants I visit. You could also write out / type up a card to take with you and keep in your wallet.
  • Learn specific cultural things to look out for: for example, in Thailand fish oil is often added to lots of dishes, so it would be useful to take a card with you saying ‘no fish oil, please’ in Thai.
  • Siri is your friend: iPhone’s siri and similar voice-recognition softwares on other smartphones can be so handy on your trip! For instance, when my mum and I were in Italy last year, I activated siri and said ‘find dairy-free ice-cream near me’ and it led us to a great little gelateria that served delicious vegan ice-cream!

MAKE YOUR TRIP VEGAN-FRIENDLY

If you don’t have a particular place in mind to travel to, there are plenty of ways that you can make your trip vegan-friendly:

  • If possible:
    • Choose a vegan-friendly location: PETA releases an annual list of the Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Citites, so choosing one of these cities to visit is a great idea
    • Go on a vegan specific holiday: there are now lots of vegan-specific holidays you can go on, such as vegan cruises and vegan camping trips! These trips are a great way to not only enjoy delicious food, but also to meet like-minded people. A quick google search will pull up lots of vegan holiday options.
  • Find vegan hotels: I use the website veggie-hotels.com to find vegetarian / vegan hotels all over the world.
  • Stay in an apartment / airbnb / hostel: or anywhere where you have access to a kitchen so that you can veganise your holiday by cooking your own food. This is also a great way to save money!

MY TOP 5 VEGAN CITIES

In case you’re looking for ideas of great vegan-friendly places for your next trip, here are my top 5 vegan-friendly cities that I’ve visited!

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  • LA, San Francisco & San Diego in California are collectively by far the most vegan-friendly places I’ve ever visited. Matt and I ate every type of vegan food you can imagine during our trip, and got most of it delivered to our hotel rooms! There are also so many fun things to do and lots of beautiful beaches to hang out at.
  • New York is such an awesome city with so many fun touristy places to visit. It also has a great vegan-food scene, so is definitely worth a visit.
  • Berlin has so much historic culture to explore and also is insanely vegan friendly. During mine and my mum’s visit, we stayed in a vegetarian hotel, visited lots of vegan restaurants, and even shopped at Veganz – an entirely vegan supermarket.
  • Sydney, especially the Bondi Beach area, is filled with awesome vegan restaurants and also has so many fun places to explore.
  • Queenstown is hands down the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited and it was made even better by the fact that we found lots of great vegan-friendly restaurants there!

ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS

When travelling as a vegan, you want to ensure you don’t support any unethical tourist attractions that exploit animals. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t interact with animals on your holiday; in fact, travel provides a great opportunity to see animals in their natural environment and perhaps even to volunteer at a conservation project / animal sanctuary. And fear not, as for every unethical tourist attraction, there is an awesome alternative:

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VIDEO OF MY FULL SPEECH

If you would like more detailed tips, you can watch my full speech from the event here:

Top 5 tips for a vegan traveling in Italy

As you guys probably already know if you read my Berlin Vegan Guide, earlier this summer my mum and I went traveling around Europe. After our amazing time in Berlin, we headed to Venice and then to Lake Garda.

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We had some incredible experiences in Italy, from sitting on the rocks feeding swans in Lake Garda to Gondola rides in Venice.

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We also ate a lot of pizza and pasta. In fact, for our entire time in Italy, aside from fruit filled breakfasts, we ate exclusively pasta and pizza for lunch and dinner!

Vegan spaghetti in Italy

During our time in Italy, I picked up some tips that I think will be really useful for any other vegans/vegetarians traveling in Italy. You can check them out in the video below as well as some footage of our amazing trip!

▹▸▹▸ ITALY VLOG & TOP 5 VEGAN TRAVEL TIPS

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my video and any ideas of videos you guys would like me to film.

Lots of Love, Jade xoxo

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