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Tips for Eating in Italy

Maximize your Italian food experience with these helpful tips.

When you travel to Italy, it’s a given that you should set aside enough money, and room in your stomach, for all of the delicious foods available. Though, this delightful opportunity can be overwhelming for those who can’t make a decision or think they can eat as they do back home. If you want to make the most out of every meal in Italy, here are some helpful tips.

-Eat like the locals. Adjust to eating a small breakfast like a pastry or coffee and prepare to eat dinner much later in the evening. 

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-Invest in at least one local food tour. It will expose you to all the best places in the area and may even introduce you to a new favorite. 

-Have lunch at a local alimentari. It’s the equivalent of a deli and will have all the freshest local ingredients. 

-Unless you already have a favorite going in, stick with the house wine. It’s a more affordable option in most restaurants. 

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-Check out various review sites to get a full picture of each place you want to dine at.

-Don’t purchase dessert at the restaurant. Instead, visit a local gelateria. You’ll have more options to choose from while experiencing more of the city’s food industry. 

-Do as the Italians do and enjoy aperitivo. This is the practice of having an aperitif cocktail accompanied by a delicious array of vegetables, cheeses, and/or cold cuts.

-Trattorias are typically cheaper than osterias.

-Don’t order tap water when you’re eating out.

-Anticipate pasta to be served al dente.

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-Alfredo sauce isn’t a thing in Italy, so don’t be surprised when you can’t find it on the menu.

-Dinner is an event in itself. Don’t be afraid to linger for a while.

-Salad dressing means olive oil and vinegar. Don’t attempt to order anything else or you’ll out yourself right away. 

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