Intro to Italian Etiquette…part 1

I’ve been living in Italy for going on five years now, so I think it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about the Italian Culture, specifically in Veneto. As with every region in Italy (20) there are different cultures, dialects, foods, traditions and so on..

There are some things that the Venetians are known for such as

  • There is perfectly nothing wrong with drinking a glass of Prosecco or a Spritz at 10 am in the morning.

I used to live in Rome for a short stint in my early 20’s and I don’t remember anyone drinking so early in the morning. Haha, please correct me if I’m wrong. 

  • Have a headache? Not feeling too good? It’s ok, have a glass of Prosecco! Everything shall pass with a glass of Prosecco.

Truth to be told it was once said that indeed Prosecco could combat illness such as hypertension and high cholesterol. A local pharmacist declared that Sparkling white wine known then as Spumante “cures people better than thermal waters” and he shouted that “it should be provided on prescription. 

And there are some Italian traditions that you just can’t do in other countries but one that you can and I think this one should be internationally known is when you are invited to someones home, don’t show up empty handed.

Like I said before, I’m going on my fifth year here in Italy and so sometimes my memory is a bit foggy when it comes to trying to remember how I USED to do things when I was in California.

Italian Etiquette # 1

If someone invites you over for a cup of coffee, a dinner, a drink ect… don’t show up without something.. It’s a big no no and it shows a sign of disrespect even when the friend who invited you will tell you “Oh wow, you didn’t have to do that” Actually, you really did and thank you is what they really meant! Haha!

What to bring?

  • The most common thing to bring over is a bottle of a great wine usually being Prosecco Docg in the Summer or a nice bottle of Red in the Winter.
  • Flowers. Preferably a plant that they can later put on their balcony or windowsill or even in the garden, if they have one.
  • And lastly, dolce!! Sweets. Cakes, pastries oh my! Probably ARE my favorite to bring.

Down below are some photos that I took when I went and visited Luigi from Pasticceria Maria Rosa in Bigolino di Valdobbiadene. Oh and just to give you a little hint, I’ve got some exciting news on a new series I’ll be doing and Luigi will be featured first  in “Inspired in Veneto-Local Artisans that I adore”

From left – mousse infused with Prosecco, a chocolate tort with berry cream, pistachio and a mini tiramisù.

bignè anyone?

I love getting an assortment of pastries whenever I am invited to a friends home for any occasion. Love the mini versions.

Bringing over a torta is a great idea too. This one happens to be one of my favorites. Millefoglie is the name.

Great choice for an invitation in the Summer.

Everyone meet Luigi, the man behind the exquisite cakes and pastries in Bigolino di Valdobbaidene.

Last but not least torta di frutta. I’ll take one of each please!

What are some of the traditions that you have in your family? Are you curious about the Italian culture? Let me know in the comment section below and maybe I’ll choose it for part 2 of Italian Etiquette.


4 thoughts on “Intro to Italian Etiquette…part 1

  1. I’ve raised my daughter to do the same, never go empty-handed! Also, to hand-write ‘Thank You’ notes. It is important, common decency. The World would be a better place!

  2. Wonderful article! Beautiful pasties! Look forward to next blog. Love Italy! Am fascinated with the culture.

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