Dining in Italy
Dining in Italy
Most restaurants have a cover charge. This will be listed somewhere in the menu as pane e coperto (bread and cover). It will be higher for outdoor tables, especially if there is a view, and will be charged whether or not you touch the bread. Don’t quibble over these charges. The tip or servizio is also listed in the menu, and is usually 15%. Waiters are paid very well in Italy and it is a respected profession. If servizio is listed, do not feel that you need to leave any extra money as a tip. If the service was exceptional you may leave some change.
service in Italy is different than that which you find at home. No forced
smiles and no “Hi! My name is Tom, and I’ll be your waiter…” Waiters may
hang outside of the restaurant to entice you to eat at their establishment.
Once you are seated you are expected to order on their schedule. If they
come to the table to take your order and you are not ready, it may be a long
time before they come back. Other waiters might simply turn their back on
you for about 60 seconds and then turn around again to take your order.
You may get the feeling that you are being hurried, or that the waiter is rude,
but the truth is that they are helping run a business. Feel free to order
your first course and drinks, and then decide on the rest later. Whatever
the case, keep in mind that you are visiting a foreign country, and as the
saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
Tips for Dining in Italy
vegetariano. - I am vegetarian.
mangiamo – I don’t eat…
carne – meat
pesce – fish
polli – poultry
Uova e formaggio OK – eggs and cheese OK
Please also visit our page about Meals in Italy.
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