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).


Dining FYI


  • 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).