Italian Etiquette 101: How to Act at an Italian Dinner Table - Rachael Ray Every Day

The Do's and Don'ts of Italian Etiquette

These mealtime etiquette tips will take you from turista to true Italiano.
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creamy spaghetti carbonara with spring onions

Before digging into this Creamy Spaghetti Carbonara with Spring Onions, make sure to mind you Italian manners.

DON’T cut your pasta with a knife. A fork is the only utensil that should touch your ’roni. 

DO wait until your host sits or announces, “Buon appetito!” before digging into dinner. 

DON’T ask for salad dressing—oil and vinegar are all you need. 

DO fill up your neighbor’s glass, always, before topping off your own. 

DON’T slurp your spaghetti. The only noise your mouth should make during a meal is “Mmm.” 

DO ask for the check when you’re ready for it. Italian servers think it’s rude to rush you from the table, so it could be hours before they do. 

DON’T butter your bread. Instead, use it to sop up leftover marinara. 

DO always bring a gift (chocolate, wine, etc.) if you are a dinner guest. 

DON’T season your food at the table. In Italy, the chef is always right. 

DO order an espresso—but after dessert, not during it.