Are you planning an Italian excursion? The following etiquette tips will inspire you to indulge in the Italian culture!
It is common for Italian friends and families to kiss on the cheek when they meet, regardless of gender.
Stand up out of respect when an older person enters the room.
It is important to dress appropriately and respectfully for the occasion.
Be certain to cover your mouth when yawning or sneezing.
Hats should always be removed indoors.
It is impolite to remove one’s shoes in front of others.
Socially, punctuality is not strict. In Italy, being ‘on time’ can be 20, 30, or even 45 minutes late.
Always open doors for the elderly. Men often open doors for women as well.
Italians wait for their host to be seated before they sit. Additionally, they wait for the host to indicate that it is time to eat.
Some Italians may pray before eating a meal.
Guests are invited to start eating when the host or head of the table says “Buon appetito” which means “enjoy your meal”.
When bread is on the table, attempt to not eat too much before the main course begins. Use the bread to absorb the sauce at the end of the meal.
On special occasions, meals can continue for hours or as long as the conversation lasts.
It is improper to put one’s hands on one’s lap, or to stretch one’s arms while at the table.
Resting one’s elbows on the table is considered poor manners.
Do not leave the table until everyone has finished eating.
Drinking beverages other than water or wine with a meal is quite uncommon.
If someone does not want more wine, the typical custom is to leave the wine glass nearly full.
It is considered impolite to eat while walking.
Guests are not expected to assist the host in cleaning up after a meal.
Breakfast is often skipped in Italian culture as it not seen as an essential meal.
Dining “al fresco” or “outdoors” is very popular, especially in the summer months.