Italy Dining Tips for the Traveller

Traditional Italian Menu.In a traditional Italian menu, there are the appetizer, first course and second course. Many Italians enjoy their meals for an hour or two, using the time to fellowship with friends or relatives. They delight in having a delicious, relaxing meal, especially at Sunday lunches.Common Appetizers in Italy.

Antipasti (appetizers) in Italy differ from one region to the next. You might expect a plate of cold cuts in one region and something entirely different in another. There are also appetizer buffets at some restaurants where you can pick and choose your own appetizers.First Course of the Italian Meal (Primo).The first course of an Italian meal is usually soup, risotto (rice dish) or pasta.

Pasta choices might include several varieties. In Italian pasta dishes, sauce is de-emphasized and the type of pasta is the most important aspect of the dish. Americans will find pasta dishes in Italy to be much less saucy than in America.Second Course of the Italian Meal (Secondo).Meat, fish or poultry are usually featured in the second course of an Italian meal, without vegetables or potatoes.

Vegetarian dishes are available in some restaurants upon inquiry.Side Dishes in Italy.Side dishes include vegetables (verdura), insalata (salad) or potato. You'll want to order a side dish with your main course so you'll have vegetables with your meat.Italian Desserts (Dolce).Dolce, or dessert, will be offered after your meal.

Fruit or cheese might be offered at some restaurants. Also, a digestivo or cafe is offered after dessert. This is an after dinner drink.Italian Drinks.The most common drink with meals in Italy is wine, acqua minerale (mineral water) or vino. You'll be asked to order your drink before your meal usually.

A house wine may be available, and is usually not very expensive. Coffee is typically not served until after your meal.Paying for Your Italian Meal.You'll need to ask the waiter for your bill, even if you're there at closing time! How do you ask for the bill? Simple - say "il conto." The prices on the menu usually include taxes and service, but there may be a small cover and bread charge added to the bill.

Leave a few coins for a tip. Keep in mind that not all restaurants in Italy accept credit cards, so you'll want to keep cash on hand.Places to Dine in Italy.Bars are available for light meals such as a sandwich, coffee and pastry or to get ice cream. Unlike bars in America, bars in Italy are not for drinking alcohol only. For more formal dining, there are osteria and trattoria (casual eating places).

Then, there are restaurants (ristorante).When to Dine in Italy.Italians usually eat late.

Lunch typically doesn't begin until 1:00 and dinner is not until 8:00. The restaurants close between lunch and dinner, but you might find some that open during this time in popular tourist areas. Most shops are closed for several hours in the afternoon.

Tuscan Cooking.A visit to Tuscany will send your taste buds soaring! Tuscan cooks are known for using fresh ingredients, and are also famous for their bread, which is made without salt. Classic Tuscan dishes include bistecca alla fiorentina (steak), crostini (canapes with chicken liver) and cacciucco (fish or seafood stew). Chianti wine, olive oil and pecorino cheese are also common in Tuscan cuisine.Sicily Edibles.Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island and offers a combination of cuisines handed down by Greeks, Romans, Spanish and several other nationalities throughout the years.

Seafood, citrus fruits, herbs and vegetables are popular ingredients for Sicilian cooking. Among Sicilian specialties are eggplants filled with olives and tomatoes, risotto with seafood, roasted swordfish and pasta mixed with lobster sauce. Delicious Sicilian desserts include gelato (ice cream), cannoli and marzipan.Eating Ice Cream in Italy.Italian ice cream is often called "the best ice cream in the world.

" The word for ice cream in Italian is gelato. Buying ice cream in Italy is easy. During pleasant weather, you can usually find ice cream stands on the sidewalks in any tourist location. You can also buy ice cream in ice cream shops, and in some bars and restaurants. If you see a sign that states "gelato fatto en casa," this means the ice cream is homemade.There are so many wonderful restaurants and foods in Italy that it's difficult to choose where to eat.

Even small cafes offer delicious foods! Some towns even offer cooking lessons if you want to learn how to cook Italian style. No matter where you stay during your tour of Italy, be sure to check out several different restaurants to make the most of your trip.You can find international cell phones and service for Italy from http://www. Free incoming calls from all countries night and day and calling the states is just US $.60 per minute! They rent and sell phones and satellite phones as well.

.John Dulaney, born Dec.

11th, 1946, married with children. Living most years since 1969 outside the USA and working in motion pictures since 1965 I started with my wife, Jojo, in March of 1994 in San Francisco, Ca.

I've lived in or been to approximately 36 countries and have lived under Democracies, Socialism, Communism, dictatorships, kingdoms and others. There is nothing like home. I participated at Channel Four in Manila, Philippines during the "People Power Revolution" and stood, with my wife's brother, along with half a million others against the threat of tank attack. I have witnessed the ruinous effects of Socialism /Communism /Dictatorship in dozens of countries and today enjoy the remains of our freedoms and protections of the Constitution in the USA here in California. Working in front of and behind the camera films around the world we removed to the suburbs and a quiet life, for a few years.

We still have property in Umbria, Italy, some is for sale. After all is said and done I count my children, wife Jojo and my friends as my only real treasure.

By: John Dulaney


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