Where to Eat
Café’/Bar, Pasticceria: Open early morning to late at night. Wine, liquor, beer and coffee are sold. Most have sandwiches, called a panini or a small selection of pastries. At large bars, such as in Autostrada, airports or railroad stations, tell the cashier what you want and pay for it. Take the receipt to the waiter or counter for your order to be filled.
Osteria: Open late morning to late evening. Similar to a bar, with the addition of home-style-cooking.
Pizzeria: Pizzerias are open in the evenings and sometimes at lunch. Pizza is much thinner in Italy and is listed by name on the menu. All of the ingredients will appear underneath. If you order a “pepperoni pizza”, you will be brought a pizza covered in bell peppers. To have the American pepperoni, look for the ingredient “salamino piccante” or the “Diavola”.
Trattoria: Open about Noon – 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
A trattoria is a simple restaurant and usually family owned. Prices are fair and food is simple and served in a home-like atmosphere.
Ristorante: Open approx. Noon – 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. This is the highest form of eating establishment. Reservations are recommended due to the table most likely to be used for the entire evening. There is no fast turn over at the restaurants. Mealtimes in Italy are different from the
U.S. Italians tend to eat after 8 p.m. and even 9 p.m. in the summer months. Traditional Courses: First the ANTIPASTO (appetizer), next the PRIMO PIATTI (soup, rice or pasta), next IL SECONDO (the main course usually meat or fish), then finally IL CONTORNO (vegetables or salad).
- Breakfast (“colazione”) pastry/drink at a café or bar
- Lunch (“pausa pranzo”) 1200-1430
- Dinner (“cena”) 1900-2030
Cover/Service Charges & Tipping
- “COPERTO” is a service/cover charge and listed separately on the bill (usually 1-3 euro per person).
- Italians usually do not leave tips. For superior service, feel free to tip an extra 5-10%.
- All prices in restaurants or stores are the final price WITH tax already included.
Water: Acqua gassata (pronounced “gasata”) or frizzante (“fritz- antay”) has bubbles, naturale does not. While tap water is safe to drink all over Italy, Italians usually prefer the taste of bottled water. You may request tap water, but it is not always provided. In some facilities the local water is purified and served in decanters.
Agriturismo: Italian agritourism is a form of tourism out in the countryside. It can mean an overnight stay or stopping for a meal with simple organic ingredients grown, raised, and made on the farm. Agriturismos can be highly refined and also include a wide variety of outdoor activities (walking, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, fishing, sports or sunbathing).