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The Dos and Donts of Italian Restaurant Etiquette

When dining at an Italian restaurant, it’s essential to adhere to certain etiquettes to fully enjoy the culinary experience and show respect for the culture. Here are the dos and don’ts of Italian restaurant etiquette to help you navigate your dining experience with finesse.


Reservations: Make a reservation, especially at popular Italian restaurants, to avoid long waits and ensure you have a table.

Dress Code: Dress neatly and respectably.

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While not all Italian restaurants require formal attire, avoid overly casual clothing.

Greetings: Greet the staff and fellow diners with a warm “Buonasera” (good evening) or “Buongiorno” (good day).

Bread and Olive Oil: Dip bread in olive oil, but avoid double-dipping and don’t fill up on it before your meal.

Ordering Wine: Ask the server for wine recommendations to pair with your meal. Italians take their wine seriously, and it can enhance your dining experience.


Tipping: Tipping in Italy is different from many other countries. Instead of a large percentage, leave a modest tip of 5-10% as it’s often included in the bill.

Parmesan with Seafood: Avoid adding Parmesan cheese to seafood dishes; it’s considered a faux pas.

Cutting Pasta: Don’t cut your pasta with a knife; twirl it onto your fork using a spoon if needed.

Hurry: Italian meals are a leisurely affair. Don’t rush through your meal; savor each course.

Talking Loudly: Italians appreciate a quiet, relaxed atmosphere, so keep your voice down and enjoy your meal without excessive noise.

Following these dos and don’ts will not only enhance your Italian dining experience but also show respect for the rich culinary traditions and culture of Italy. Buon appetito!

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