A Guide to Eating Out in Italy
Time for eating out…
Breakfast time in Italy can be from 6 to 11 am, depending on what time you got up, and it usually includes a cappuccino, which is a morning drink, and cornetto or other sweet pastries.
Lunchtime usually ranges from midday to 2pm (that is why many of the shops close in this hours), dinnertime from 8 to 10pm. Between 6 and 9pm it’s aperitivo time, an Italian tradition started in Milan (in the main picture: aperitivo time at Diana Sheraton Majestic). If you’re feeling hungry between 3 and 5pm then it’s time for you to have a merenda, a quick snack between the two main meals. Should you be hungry at late night, you can check our list of late-night restaurants in Milan.
Final suggestion: never ever forget to check the restaurant’s weekly closing day, which – most of the time – will be Monday.
Reservations for most restaurants are strongly advised.
In Italy service is included in the price, meaning that although tipping is not compulsory, it is obviously appreciated as a sign of satisfaction.
Some menus include the word “coperto”, which is an Italian tradition corresponding to a small surcharge (usually between 1 and 3 € per person) for the cost of service and bread.
Although no real dress code exists in Italy, semi-formal clothing is usually considered de rigueur at restaurants.
Smoking is forbidden in restaurants: however, several venues offer a separate area reserved for smokers.