It’s hard not to enjoy eating wherever you travel, but in Italy it’s an art.

Eating in Italy:
Eating a leisurely Italian meal is one of the pleasures of traveling in Italy. Italians take food very seriously in each region and sometimes even a city will have regional specialities.

If you have never traveled to Italy before there are a few things you should know. A traditional Italian meal will consist of an appetizer (antipasti), first course (primo) and a second course (secondo) with a side dish (contorni). All to be topped off with dessert (dolce), which could be fruit or cheese followed by café and/or an after-dinner drink (digestivo).

When dining out, most Italian families will spend an average of 3 hours eating and socializing. So if you plan on getting in and out quickly you must ask for your bill (il conto) when you are ready.  Generally there will be a small cover charge for bread and linen. Tax and service are usually included in your total.

Tipping is much different too. If you are pleased with your service it is customary to leave a small tip, but nothing like the traditional American tip of 15% to 20%.

Another essential tip to keep in mind, a bar in Italy is not just a place for alcoholic drinks, but rather more of a place to grab a quick morning coffee and pastry, a sandwich for a quick lunch, or a gelato (Italian Ice Cream) treat. If you stand at the bar, your price will be less than half of what you would pay if you choose instead to sit at a table.

These are just a few helpful hints for your next italian adventure.  Hope they help you to be prepared for the italian feasts you will never forget.


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