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Italy without gelato: Vegan trip options grow as more people embrace a plant-based lifestyle

July 6, 2018

I find that gelato is the key ingredient of any trip to Italy.

Not everyone agrees.

Increasingly, tour operators are appealing to those who forgo gelato — or any food made with animal products.

Intrepid Travel has recently introduced an Italy tour that includes dinner in Venice’s first vegan restaurant and two nights in an all-vegan villa in Tuscany. Prices start at $2,610, pancetta not included. The adventure company also added vegan-focused tours to India and Thailand, where visitors can make a plant-based meal with a homestay host.

These trips are designed for a growing market: vegans, people who do not eat or use animal products, often motivated by health, global warming or animal welfare. A recent report by Global Data noted a 600 percent increase in the number of vegans in the U.S. over the past three years. A December article by Forbes was titled, “Here’s why you should turn your business vegan in 2018.”

Travel companies already have. Up Norway’s vegan trail trip includes a foraging experience. Vegan-inspired Bravie- tour of Rio de Janeiro brings travelers from farmers markets to jungle hikes in Brazil. A late-July Colorado trip with stops at a vegan festival and an animal sanctuary is sold out, but the company that organized it — Veg Jaunts and Journeys of North Carolina — is already planning 2019 trips. Hawaii without the seafood and Paris without Brie? For many people, that’s purest paradise.

Send your questions or tips to Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at travel@startribune.com.

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