Dos and Don’ts of Eating in Italy

Italian food goes further than your appetite. In Italy, food has history and meaning. You can find this at homemade italian food restaurant in orlando florida And, it’s rooted in a way that makes one feel like part of a community. So, if you plan to visit or move to Italy, you are likely to end up in some of the most historic restaurants. However, to enjoy the famous Italian food culture, you will need something more than your passion for Italian food—Galateo.

So, what is Galateo? This is an Italian phrase for etiquette. Yes, you will need this whenever eating in an Italian restaurant, and breaking etiquette while dining in an Italian restaurant can spark a lot of outrage. In this article, we shall discuss the dos and don’ts of eating in Italy. Follow these, and you shall be dining like a native Italian soon.

The dos of eating in Italy

Always reserve a table

It’s always important to reserve a table, whether you are going out for lunch or dinner. One thing you should understand is that most restaurants in Italy can get busy, particularly during the summer. Thus, you should reserve a table in advance to avoid any unwanted inconveniences. And, while arriving late is acceptable, you shouldn’t be late by over 20 minutes. In case you notice that you are running late, call the restaurant and inform them that you are running late. You can reserve a table at the finest italian food in downtown Orlando.

Order local dishes

While some dishes like Tagliatelle al Ragu and Pizza Margherita are a must when you visit Italy, always purpose to order the local and regional dishes. To have an easier time, ask the waiter for suggestions, and they will guide you through the local dishes.

Leave a tip

A service charge in Italy is called coperto, which includes bread, table service. This charge is mostly added to the bill. While it’s not a must to tip your waiter, this is a nice gesture, particularly if the waiter was helpful or friendly. However, there’s one rule for tipping waiters—always be generous and give cash but not more than 10 Euros.


If you’ve ever enjoyed a delightful plate of pasta, you’ve definitely used some bread to clean up the remaining sauce on the plate. This gesture is known as ‘fare la Scarpetta in Italian. Although this gesture might be somehow inappropriate in fine dining Italian restaurants, the chefs and waiters in the traditional osterias and trattorias will be glad to see you’ve enjoyed your meal.

The don’ts of eating in Italy

Don’t order a cappuccino with meals

There are certain combinations not tolerated in Italian cuisine—whether it’s a cappuccino with salad or steak.

The Italian menu is expertly structured, with:

  • Antipasto (starter)
  • Primo (the first course, mostly has rice or pasta)
  • Secondo (fish or meat) and also comes with contorno (side dish—salad, sautéed veggies, and roasted potatoes)
  • Dolce (dessert)
  • Coffee and other digestives

Thus, you shouldn’t mismatch courses. Salads are side dishes to secondo, not primo. And, if you are not interested in a secondo, it’s OK—however, always finish your primo before ordering a salad.

So, where does this leave cappuccino? Well, cappuccino is a breakfast drink, and you shouldn’t order it past 11 am. And, while the rules have become less strict nowadays, you can order a cappuccino at any time, but never order it alongside your dinner or lunch.

Don’t ask for toppings

Never ask for cheese, ketchup, tarter sauce, or any other type of topping. Please note that if it didn’t come with your meal, it’s not meant to. It’s considered offensive to add any topping to a dish that a chef prepared since they know exactly the ingredients needed for each dish.

Use a spoon

Never use a spoon to eat spaghetti in an Italian restaurant. Although this is acceptable for children, adults should eat spaghetti the old Italian way—twist the past around the fork as you use the side of the plate for assistance.