Italian cuisine is among the most popular around the world. When visiting Italy, you should also try some of the local dishes. The authentic flavour and texture of Italian dishes could surprise you, because they may be completely different with you have experienced. When going to an eating place in Italy, you need to know about the common terms.

  • Antipasti (appetizer): Appetizers may different in each region in Italy. In one part of Italy, the appetizer could be a plate of cold cuts, but completely different in other regions. Don’t hesitate to ask the waitress about the available appetizer.
  • Primo: Primo is the first course of the meal, which could be pasta, risotto or a bowl of soup. In some parts of Italy, pasta dishes may have minimal or no sauce. Americans will find that pasta in Italy is much less saucy, but it’s still very tasty.
  • Secundo: Secundo is the second course of the meal. It usually features poultry, fish or meat, without potatoes or vegetables. However, upon inquiry, vegetarian secundo is also available in some restaurants.
  • Side dishes: Side dishes in Italy may include potato, salad (insalata) or vegetables (verdure). Because main courses may contain no or little vegetables, then it’s a good idea to order side dishes.
  • Desserts (Dolce): Dessert is usually offered after secundo. Desserts could be cheese or fresh fruits.
  • Drinks: The most common drinks in authentic Italian restaurant is acqua minerale (mineral water) or wine. A house wine available could be available, depending on the restaurant. Coffee is typically not served with meals.

If you want to pay for your meal, you should ask the waiter for the bill, even if the restaurant is about to be closed. Prices may include services and taxes. Leave a tip that’s equal to five percent of the total costs. You should be aware that not all restaurants are accepting credit cards, so you should be prepared to pay in cash. You should know that Italians eat late, so lunch may start at 1PM and dinner at 8PM. So, some restaurants could be closed between those times. When visiting Italy, you should also consider trying Tuscany dishes, which are known for their fresh ingredients. They may include seafood stew (cacciucco), canapés with chicken liver (crostini) and steak (bistecca alla fiorentina).

Sicilian cuisine is also an important part of Italian culture. It is influenced by various culture, such as Spain, Greece, Ancient Roman and others. Common ingredients include seafood, herbs, citrus fruits and various vegetables. Dishes may include pasta with lobster sauce, roasted swordfish, seafood risotto and tomatoes-stuffed eggplants. Delicious Sicilian desserts may include marzipan, cannoli or gelato.

During warm, summer day, you may often find gelato stands in Sicily, especially at various tourist locations. You may also find gelato in ice cream shops. There are many things that you can try when you are visiting Italy. No matter how long you stay in Italy, you should explore your options and try different dishes.