The Italy Diaries: Being Vegan in Rome

The Italy Diaries: Being Vegan in Rome

If you’ve been following me on Instagram and Instagram Stories, you’ll have seen I’ve been in Italy for the past week. Well, Italy is well and truly my spirit animal, and I’m now back in Belgium, feeling a little sorry for myself and also feeling a little run down after being on the go, non-stop for the past couple of weeks.

I’ve always adored Italy, since my first visit when I was 7, right through to teen travels there, and then of course my adult explorations in recent years.

I suspect it’s that delightful Mediterranean charm that attracts me, the friendliness and openness of the people, who want to welcome and interact with you. It’s the beauty amongst the chaos in places like Rome, the gentle sunny afternoons scented with the sweet smell of cooking and fresh herbs in the town piazzas, with a background of chatter and vibrance. Italy offers so much with variety across the country, which is something I really noticed last week.

I’ve got quite a lot of travel content for you kitty cats coming up, and of course my book and travel guides too (hooray!), but I wanted to put down my initial thoughts after my Italian adventure as soon as possible, and why not in a blog post, eh?

We stayed in some wonderful accommodation during our trip, and there will be full and separate reviews on the hotels, as well as our special meals out!

Mr Green V and I split our time between Rome, Florence and Milan, spending two nights in each city. Flying in to Rome from Brussels International was a straightforward 2-hour flight, and it was also quite cheap as we flew with Ryanair. From Rome, we took the highspeed Italotrento rail to Florence, which took around 1hr 30, and then when we headed north to Milan, it was again by train, which was about 1hr 45. I have to say that the Italontrento trains are very swish. We reached speeds of 300km/h, the air conditioning was the right temperature, and the carriages spacious! Oh, it works out cheaper to book your tickets in advance, even if it is just 2 or 3 days, so bear that in mind. We booked all ours at the biglietti machines in the stations, you can pick your language and they are easy to use.

Vegan in Rome

I first went to Rome just before going vegan in 2014. I was still a vegetarian, so I didn’t pay much attention to the vegan options there, but I totally fell in love with the city itself, as I had always wanted to go. Of course, as I became vegan and The Green V developed, I realised that Rome (and Italy in general) is pretty vegan-friendly, which is why I decided to write my own vegan travel guide book all about it.

 

{Click here to receive exclusive updates about my vegan travel guides!}

 

We stayed at The Beehive eco hostel/hotel just a few minutes’ walk from Rome Termini train station, which was nice and convenient. It’s 100% vegetarian and run by two American expats, Linda and Steve, who are passionate about offering a peaceful veg-friendly setting and community for their guests. Plus, it’s just an easy 20 minute walk to Roman hotspots like the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum.

A full hotel review will be up next week!

 

The Beehive Rome

Day 1

After arriving in a very hot Rome (about 29C) we checked in and unpacked, ready to go and explore. By the time we were sorted, it was getting on to dinner time, so we headed out for a walk, meandering our way through the Roman streets and just soaking up the atmosphere. We enjoyed a couple of cocktails and bruschetta in one of the piazzas and people watched. We ended up eating at Origano Roma, an organic restaurant that had a fantastic selection of vegan options, as well as vegetarian and standard meals too. I had a rocket pesto pasta dish, and Mike had the vegan calzone, which was huge!

We walked off dinner in the nearby piazzas and grabbed a vegan gelato, which, I’m happy to say, came with a vegan and gluten-free cone!

Vegan in Rome

 

 

vegan in Rome

 

 

 

Excited to feast!

 

Beautiful ruins in the living museum that is Rome

Day 2 

Breakfast was a simple affair of a fruit salad and soya cappuccino for me, and oatmeal and cappuccino for Mike. We did a couple of hours of work in the pretty garden at The Beehive (isn’t is great to work outdoors?) before getting ready for the day. Last time we were in Rome the Trevi Fountain was undergoing some restoration, so I was keen to revisit it and see the full impact. It was pretty busy but we managed to throw our coins in, and take a couple of pictures too!

Lunch was a veggie pizza with no cheese at a simple yet stylish restaurant a few blocks away from the fountain (no tourist traps for us!). We went in here because there were several local businessmen and women having a long lunch, so we thought they must know their stuff. Although there weren’t that many vegetables on the pizza, it was quite tasty, and I was starving by this point anyway. Obligatory white wine accompanied the feasting.

This was 1 of the 3 days when we walked 23km in total, so naturally when a vegan gelato is spotted, it needs to be bought and eaten… you know, for energy purposes. Gelato della Palma had a whole vegan section, and I had my first chocolate orange product since going vegan – delicious!

 

The Beehive Rome

 

The Trevi Fountain in all its glory

What did I wish for…?

 

Vegan gelato in Rome

Chocolatey orange deliciousness

The highlight of our time in Rome was being invited to dine at the Raphael Hotel’s rooftop vegetarian restaurant. Just off Piazza Nevona, the hotel is luxury in all aspects, and the food was no exception. I’ll be doing a full review on our restaurant visit next week, but let me tell you that this was the best dining event I’ve ever experienced. Not only were the views of the Roman rooftops fantastic, the service was second to none, and the food was just heavenly. We even had our own sommelier who paired up each of our courses with a different wine. I can’t wait to share my full review, as you really, really have to treat yourselves to a meal there if you go to Rome.

Next time I go to Rome, I hope to have the opportunity to stay at the Raphael Hotel for my trip and enjoy more of the amazing food on offer. I wonder what the breakfast is like!

For now, here’s a little preview:

 

Vegan in Rome

Roman rooftops

 

 

But first, a welcome prosecco followed by champagne for our starters

 

 

vegan in Rome

Passeggiata nel Bosco – A baby carrot, mushroom and marjoram terrine, with sprouts and vegan mayo

 

 

 

vegan in Rome

Vegan wine standing in line

 

Rome really is my favourite city in the world and it was a joy to return as a vegan. You really won’t struggle to eat plant-based, and even if you opt to eat at a non-veg place, you can never go wrong with a pizza senza formaggio at the very least.

Tomorrow, it’s the turn of Florence, so stay tuned for my next blog post.

My full vegan city guides series will be published in the coming weeks, so please register here to stay up-to-date!

Ciao for now,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS – Tips on learning Italian guys?

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