Tips for Italian Dining Etiquette - Ombretta Cucina + Vino
Tips for Italian Dining Etiquette

Are you planning a trip to Italy? What’s the first thing you think of when planning? Do you start thinking about the fashion in Milan, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy’s enchanting art, culture, and vineyards? 

These are probably something you think about after because your first thought is the iconic and delicious Italian food you’re going to be eating. A majority of your trip to Italy is probably going to be spent on eating so you’d better make sure you do it right. 

Here are the 10 tips for Italian dining etiquette:

1. Pepperoni pizza is not a thing

Did you know pepperoni pizza is not a thing? Italians will laugh at you if you ask for pepperoni pizza because “pepperoni” which means peppers in Italian is not a common pizza topping. If you’re looking for pepperoni pizza, you should be ordering the Diavola, meaning “devil.” Italians don’t like to eat spicy foods so pepperoni is a devilishly hot food for them. 

2. Don’t put parmesan on your pizza

Did you know you shouldn’t put parmesan on your pizza? Parmesan is primarily used for pasta dishes so it’s sinful to add this random cheese to something that’s already perfect. So leave your pizza lone and keep the parmesan to some of your pasta dishes. 

3. There is no such thing as salad dressing

Did you know salad is eaten with only oil and salt in Italy? Italians like to taste what their eating so their salad doesn’t have salad dressing. Instead of salad dressing, they enjoy oil on top of their fresh vegetables. 

4. Bar means cafe

Did you know bar means cafe? Don’t be alarmed if an Italian tells you he or she is headed to the bar in the morning. This actually means their getting a coffee at a cafe not a drink at a bar. 

5. Drink the water that comes with the expresso first

Did you know you should be drinking the water that comes with the expresso first? This is because it cleans your palate so you’re able to enjoy the amazing taste of their expresso. 

6. Hold wine by the stem

If you already drink wine, you should already know this. However, if you don’t and drinking wine in Italy is going to be your first time, you should hold your wine glass by its stem. This is so that the warmth of your hands won’t change the wine’s temperature. 

7. Shops or restaurants are closed in the afternoons

Did you know shops or restaurants are closed in the afternoons? This isn’t the case for major cities or tourists areas, but it’s true in small towns in Italy. 

8. Italians eat dinner late 

Did you know Italians eat their dinner late? So you should plan your dinner early around 6 PM rather than at 10 PM because you’ll end up waiting as you’ll see young Italians arriving for dinner.

9. Tip only a little

Did you know when it comes to food and drink, you should only tip only a little – if at all? If you’re really looking to tip, just round to the nearest Euro. 

10. Pay for water

Did you know you should always pay for water? You shouldn’t ask for tap water without buying anything because it’s kind of rude unless you’re looking to accompany the expresso you just bought.

Source: How to Eat in Italy like an Italian: 35 Etiquette Tips!

About Ombretta Cucina + Vino

Ombretta Cucina + Vino is an Italian restaurant in Mississauga with rustic and modern decor located in the heart of Port Credit, Mississauga boasting a sizeable selection of apperitivos, wine, cocktails, and digestivos. Call us today at 905-271-2017 to reserve your table!

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