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Europe >> Italy >> Eating Out in Italy

Eating Out in Italy

In Italy you don’t eat just because you are hungry. You eat because the seduction of wafting flavours is undeniable. You eat because you begin to realize there’s passion in every meal. You eat because you have to savour a local art....... and while you may eat because you are hungry, it could never be ‘just’ that!

Budget travellers in particular will appreciate the helpful categorisation of Italian eateries. Top of the bill is the ristorante, which lays on a lavish spread in all departments, whether décor, service or food. All for a price, of course! An osteria is also fancy but does fall a rung below the ristorante. A trattoria on the other hand, is a family-run service and is less expensive and more homely than the other two. A tavola calda menu features inexpensive hot food, mostly of the ‘snack’ variety and it differs from a rosticceria in that it has seating while a rosticceria serves as a take-out. A menu turistico is a reasonably priced complete meal that some places offer, which is low on price and low on the goodies.

You will always find the menu and the price list posted outside the restaurant. Charges for cover (copreto) and service (servizio) are not always included. Pizzas are sold by the etto or the fetta - 100g or slice, in a pizza a taglio place. You can pick up a whole pizza from a pizzeria. Tap water is safe except where a non-potable sign is put up. Mineral water-gassata (with bubbles) and non-gassata (without bubbles) are also easily available.

*Do remember that during Christmas some restaurants close down for the holidays …. If you’re in Italy during that time make sure you do you homework and make reservations in advance.

The cities and tourist centres throb to the beat of music every night. Bars, nightclubs and discotheques are where the young and old, the natives and the tourists unwind after the sun’s set and the day’s work is done. Some cinemas play English movies. In the warm season many Italian towns have open-air concerts where you could hear jazz, country, folk or rock. Just roaming the streets of an Italian town is entertainment in itself. The aromas from bubbling pots, picturesque streets peopled by the colourful Italians, and fabulous monuments that stand around casually surveying the scene as they have been for centuries make a lazy stroll even, a big delight. Catch the electricity of the Italian Serie A as the best football clubs play their hearts out for the title.

Or root for your favourite team at Monza! Italy is home to three Formula 1 teams; so if you’re in Italy mid-September, get swept off to Monza.

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