The traveler’s dream of going to Italy is often centered on
the idea of the Italian dinner table. Whenever I come back from a visit or long
stay in Italy, most friends and family don’t want to know what I saw, but
rather what I ate. Eating out in Italy is a sport that knows no stopwatch. The
Italian meal is one you want to enjoy in the ristorante with every sip of house wine and bite of prosciutto. And
like most countries, there are cultural consistencies to eating out in Italy
you will want to know before you sit down at the table. If you have questions,
here are your answers so you can eat your way through Italy without incident.
Where’s the bill?:
I remember one of my first times eating out in Italy and the bill would just
not come. I had finished eating. Chairs were going on tables. The chef was
going home. However the waiter never
seemed in a hurry to give me the check. Many first timers to Italy come with
the idea that once their meal is finished, the waiter will bring the bill. I
have never had this happen to me in Italy. While you might think the service is
being slow, this is just the custom. You must ask for the check (ilconto in Italian) if you want it.
Oddly enough, if the waiter brings your bill once your fork hits the empty
plate, this could be a sign of bad service. The idea is to enjoy the meal and
the table as long as you like.
Is this whole pizza
just for me?: In most countries, when you order a pizza, it comes in slices
to split between several people. However in Italy, if you order a pizza, it is
often a personal pie. It might look like a lot of ground to cover, but a pizza
the size of a dinner plate is the standard meal for one person in Italy.
What is the coperto charge?: You might have
worked out the cost of dinner in your head based on menu prizes. However when
the bill does arrive, you will notice a charge at most eateries and restaurants
in Italy labeled coperto. This is the
cover charge. It is usually calculated based on the number of diners at the
table multiplied a certain set amount. It is essentially the charge for just
sitting at the table. If you want to avoid this charge at a café, just stand at
the bar and sip your espresso or take it to go. Sitting down will most always
incur a coperto charge.
What is the servizio charge?: First time diners
in Italy might think they are being had. Not only is there a cover charge at
most restaurants, but there is usually a servizio
charge worked into the bill. This is a service charge, or in essence, the
waiter’s tip. As there is a service charge almost always included at the
Italian table, you don’t have to add extra money for a tip. Sometimes a few
coins are appreciated, but it is not expected at the Italian ristorante.
Where is everyone?:
If you arrive to a restaurant in Italy at 6PM, you will most likely be dining
with next to no one or a handful of fellow travelers. Italians eat late,
especially the further south you go in the country. In Sicily, my favorite
pizzeria often didn’t open its doors until 8:30PM. No one would show up until
well past 9:30PM. If you want to dine with the locals and have a lively
atmosphere, postpone your dinners toward the latter half of the evening.
Like us on Facebook for more international food tips!
Get new posts delivered by email:
Top Travel Deals on RSS
Celebrate iPod’s Birthday with the Ultimate Travel PlaylistComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Ever ‘built’ a perfect playlist for a vacation or road trip? Here’s a quick list of classic songs with epic ‘road lyrics’ to add to the mix and help you get in the mood for your next big adventure....read more
5 Essential Tips To Make Languages Easier To LearnComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
If you are struggling with learning a language or just thinking about picking up a new language, be sure you practice these five tips to make learning a little easier....read more
Heathrow Airport: Some Facts and FiguresComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0
Heathrow – it’s the airport I’m most apt to fly in and out of. Considering how much time I spend there, I thought it might be worthwhile to learn a bit more about the place. So, I took a moment to dig around online for some Heathrow facts and figures. Here’s a list of some of the more interesting bits of trivia I discovered....read more
European Politeness! How To Say ‘Please’ All Over EuropeComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Just as your mother probably taught you, being polite can go a long way, especially if you are traveling a long way around Europe. Before you take off, be sure you know how to say please all around the continent....read more
An Unusual Cup of Joe: 4 Unique Coffee Shops To Get Your Caffeine FixComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
From coffee houses that are part bicycle shop to those that infuse their coffee with Coca-Cola or shut off the Wi-Fi, here are four unique coffee shops across the country to get your caffeine fix....read more
California: CST #2090295-40, Nevada: SOT #2007-0081, Iowa: SOT #883, Washington: SOT #6027859380010001
Some of the content posted herein are the views and opinions of the individual blogger's and do not represent the views and opinions of OneTravel. It may be the case that OneTravel is partnering with a particular travel supplier mentioned in a blog post, however, all views and opinions expressed herein by parties other then OneTravel are by the respective bloggers.
© 2014 W K Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright for all material appearing on this website is owned by W K Travel, Inc. Persons accessing this website are authorized to view and print material from this website for information purposes only. Any other use of this material is restricted to non-commercial purposes and must include this copyright notice.
W K Travel Inc. owns the following Trademarks and Servicemarks appearing on this website:
OneTravel, OneTravel.com, and 1Travel. Trademarks and servicemarks for all other products and services appearing on this website are the trademarks and servicemarks of their respective owners.