The Gluten Bigot: Gluten Free Venice - The Best Place First!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gluten Free Venice - The Best Place First!

The owner and I - she is absolutely lovely.
Doing my pre-travel gluten free research, Mea Libera Tutti, kept coming up. I starred it as it promised gluten free treats I knew I would not otherwise have in Italy.

After I went on my third day, I wish I had made it my first stop. Mea Libera Tutti is a 100% gluten free store - that's right you can eat anything in there. And not only will you get delicious treats and some food to bring home with you, you will also be advised on the best gluten free restaurants to eat in. The owner told us about how she offers a few training program for restaurants so they can learn how to properly prepare gluten free food, and she inspects subsequently once every three months. Those restaurants she certifies she will tell you about, but we'll get to those in my next post.

We went on a rainy day which I later found out they were not usually open, but lucky for me they were. I was first excited to see the treat section. If I was not flying with Easy Jet and didn't have weight restrictions I probably would have bought one of each. This was easily the most exciting moment in the store. I was literally like a 5 year old on Christmas morning. 
On the opposite side of the aisle you'll find bread products. I couldn't resist the foccacia, which I ended up eating half of when I was in a stitch a few days later in Paris.
Next we wanted into the past and cracker area, which is tucked into the back corner of the store. I was thrilled to find gnocchi and bowtie pasta (the only kind my husband has ever cooked for me). I bought three packages but once again could have bought one of each. 
Now, the next section I was disappointed to not get to buy anything from - the baking section. It was literally a baker's dream. I could have made the loveliest cakes and more darling cupcakes with what was in store. Sadly, I did not get to buy any of these delights as my basket (and suitcase) was already full.

The owner is such a darling. When she was ringing us up I asked to take photos (I was really excited) and she allowed me, and chatted with my husband and I. She told us all about each product we were buying, which was impressive. She recommended where we could go for lunch that day, a fantastic restaurant for dinner (which had not been listed on any of my internet searching), and a few others. For each she either gave us business cards or wrote the names down. She even posed for a photo with me in front when we left. Even if you're not a major food shopper when travelling, you should check out the store if only for her advise (and to save yourself the waste of $30 for a gluten free Venice guide in book form which lists restaurants that boil their gluten free pasta in the same pot as all their other pasta). As I mentioned about the owner certifies restaurants and will tell you where is safe and good to eat.

I wish I had been able to buy more in her store, my gluten free haul is pictured below. I have had the cakes I bought, I enjoyed those with afternoon tea at my hotel. The pastas will be eaten soon.

I will warn the store is not easy to find when you're not oriented to the nooks and crannies of Venice, but Google Maps is showing it in the right place. You may also want to like the page on facebook as it lists the actual address as well. Just make sure to make it your first stop in Venice!


  1. Mea Libera Tutti is now on Calle Rocchetta (3762/63) in Cannaregio. If you go to the Grom Gelato store by McDonalds, you are in the right neighborhood. It is tucked down a long alley so keep walking! Worth a stop. She can give you information about restaurants as well. If you’d like to contact her, do so through her facebook page- She doesn’t really do email : )

  2. I was so lucky to stumble on this shop, which was located a short 3 minute walk from my apartment rental in Canaregio. Azzurra was generous enough to speak English and made great recommendations to me that were both gluten and dairy free. I was able to get good fluffly bread and an incredible chocolate/hazelnut spread, some lemon sponge cakes, blueberry bars (similar to Nutrigrain), incredible chocolate almond cookies, a variety of pastas and a lovely variety of interesting and tasty ragus. Basically, I didn't feel that jealous of my sister's food adventures. Azzurra also suggested a few restaurants in the area where I could get gluten/dairy free sandwiches and pizza, etc. She also recommended Grom which had an amazing chocolate sorbet, and let me know McDonalds has gf buns/fries which was a fun novelty though obviously you can get much better food elsewhere. The shop made my trip to Venice easy, convenient and filled with fun Italian treats. And as we were in the same neighborhood, we kept bumping into Azzurra, her family and dog on the street and they were always so nice and helpful. I cannot recommend this shop enough for anyone with gluten/dairy allergies.

  3. I was stoked to find this shop in amongst the labyrinth that is Venice. They have a short video on YouTube:


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