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Italian Table Manners: The Do's and Don'ts of Dining in Italy



In Italy, food is not just nourishment; it's an art form, a social occasion, and a way of life. As the global adoration for Italian cuisine continues to grow, it’s essential for enthusiasts everywhere to understand the etiquette that accompanies the Italian dining experience. Whether you’re sitting down for a meal in a bustling trattoria or enjoying a dinner in an Italian home, mindfulness of these unwritten rules will ensure your dining experience is enjoyable and respectful.


The Do's of Italian Dining


  • Do wait for everyone to be served before beginning to eat. It’s common courtesy to wait until everyone is ready to enjoy their meal together. Start only when your host says, "Buon appetito!"

  • Do use your bread to ‘fare la scarpetta’. This refers to the delightful practice of mopping up sauce remaining on your plate with a piece of bread. It's both a compliment to the chef and too delicious to pass up.

  • Do use utensils for most foods. Even foods that you might eat with hands elsewhere are generally eaten with cutlery in Italy, such as pizza in formal settings.

  • Do place your hands above the table. Keeping your hands in sight (specifically, on the edge of the table) is polite.

  • Do enjoy wine with your meal. Italians love their vino, but remember, it's meant to complement the food - savor it responsibly.

The Don'ts of Italian Dining


  • Don't use cappuccino as a dinner beverage. In Italy, milky coffee drinks are considered a breakfast beverage. Opt for an espresso after dinner instead.

  • Don't expect balsamic vinegar for your bread. Olive oil is the go-to condiment for dipping here, and sometimes, you'll just enjoy the bread as is.

  • Don't ask for parmesan for every dish. It’s only appropriate for certain pastas, and never on seafood!

  • Don't slice and spear pasta with your fork. Instead, use your cutlery to twirl it neatly onto your fork.

  • Don't be impatient. Meals are a time for enjoyment and relaxation. Savor your meal and the conversation around the table.

Bringing Italian Dining Etiquette to Cucina Verona


Now, if that's whetted your appetite for authentic Italian dining, you're in luck. At Cucina Verona, we provide an Italian dining experience that transports you straight to the heart of Italy without leaving the comfort of Northern California. Our dishes are crafted with tradition and passion, using ingredients that sing with Italian authenticity.


And if you're inspired to bring Italian dining into your own home, visit the Cucina Verona Mercato. We provide everything you need to create your Italian feast, from artisanal pastas to rich, flavorful olive oils, all sourced to meet the high standards of Italian culinary tradition. Whether you want to impress your guests or simply indulge in a genuine Italian meal, we have you covered.


So come dine with us, and experience the true essence of Italian cuisine and hospitality. Or bring Italy to your table with the best ingredients, directly from our Mercato. Buon appetito!


Con amore e dedizione, Cucina Verona invites you on a journey to the heart of Italy's dining scene.


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