Five Questions Answered About Eating Out in Italy

Five Questions Answered About Eating Out in Italy | OneTravel

 

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! 

 

 

Post your Comments












Book with OneTravel

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Cars
From:
To:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Adults:
Seniors: (65+)
Children:(2-11)
Infants on lap:
Infants on seat:
Class:
Save on Bookings with 3+ pax
or hotel stays of 3+ nights
this month withSM25

RecentPosts

  • A Dinner Table Mouthful! How to Say 'Bon Appétit' in 15 Languages Across EuropeComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 17 Nov 2014
  • The French phrase, “Bon appétit,” is often used as a substitute for the lack of an English phrase of the same meaning. While you might hear, “Enjoy your meal,” Bon appétit is one of the most common ways of greeting someone before they chow down. As most of the country gets ready to have a Thanksgiving feast, in case you have a few at your table who don’t speak English or French for that matter, it is useful to know how to wish someone a good meal in some of France’s neighbors. Here’s how to say essentially, “Good appetite,” in 15 European languages....read more

  • Switzerland Celebrates 150 Years of Winter TourismComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0

    1
  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 17 Nov 2014
  • Mention Switzerland and most people immediately dream of skiing in the snowed Alps. And that’s just as many folks from there would like you to think of their beautiful home. Indeed, there’s consensus among the Swiss that their country is the original destination for cold weather fun — and that this coming season marks the 150th anniversary of winter tourism....read more

  • The Next New York Obsession: MeowParlour Cat CaféComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Danielle Thillet, last post 15 Nov 2014
  • The Internet loves two things: coffee and cats. It just seems natural that these obsessions should combine. While cat cafés are not a new concept in many Asian countries, the phenomenon had not yet made permenant residence in the United States - until now. New York as always been a hub for ideas from different cultures to merge together, and next month, the Big Apple will have its very first cat café: MeowParlour....read more

  • Celebrate Claude Monet’s BirthdayComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 14 Nov 2014
  • Claude Monet was born November 14, 1840 in Paris and died December 5, 1926 about 75 kilometres from Paris in his home at Giverny, Normandy. During his prolific career as an artist, he painted hundreds of works of art with a passion to capture his impressions of the French countryside and beyond. With works by the beloved artist and founder of French Impressionism on view across the globe (literally there are numerous “Monets” in museums and galleries on every continent except Antarctica) what better way to celebrate the painters 174th birthday than enjoying the many gifts he left to art lovers?...read more

  • Art in DallasComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Jen Westmoreland Bouchard, last post 13 Nov 2014
  • One of the first things I do when I’m planning a visit to a new city is research the art scene. I was pleased to learn that Dallas has a vibrant and impressive arts community, and is home to several world-class institutions. Here are three places that art lovers should check out the next time they are in the Big D. All of these museums are all located within the Dallas Arts District....read more