SAVOIR VIVRE, or how to behave correctly at an Italian table…


Cooking is very important to Italians. They treat it as a pleasure, not a necessity forced by everyday life. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this nation’s approach to food creates its own culinary culture. Italians don’t like to rush, so they don’t tend to shop in supermarkets. They prefer to spend this time stress-free visiting a nearby bazaar or a small shop. Related to this, the very moment of eating meals is also very important for them and occupies a significant place in their daily schedule. Celebrating cuisine is one of the most important national values ​​of Italians, so meetings at the table are also associated with specific rules.


1. Do not blow the soup should cool down on its own

Few people remember this, still blowing on the plate. However, blowing on a spoon of soup to make it cool down faster is inelegant. If the food is too hot to eat, wait patiently.

2. Don't serve yourself food with your own cutlery

Sometimes it happens instinctively. Instead of serving a portion of meat or potatoes with a spoon intended for this purpose, do you use your own? This is a mistake. An equally common problem is scooping sugar from the sugar bowl with a spoon.

3. Keep your elbows off the table

                                                                                                Yes, this is also a common problem. However, correct posture during a meal is important – slouching or keeping your elbows on the counter is unacceptable. You can rest your forearms on the edge of the table, especially when holding cutlery, but never your elbows.            

4. Don't start eating until everyone has had their share

The above rule does not apply to small children, who find it difficult to refuse if they are very hungry. In all other cases, wait calmly until everyone’s plates are full. It is ideal when the host gives the signal to start the meal.

5. Don't season your food before you try it

Salting a dish before tasting it is inelegant.

6. Handle your napkin properly

Before a meal, place a napkin on your lap. It’s a huge faux pas to tie it around your neck (it’s not supposed to be a bib). Leaving the napkin intact is an equally big mistake – it is the duty of a well-mannered person to use it.

7. Don't tilt your plate to eat the rest of the soup

The rules of table manners in this matter should not raise any doubts: it is tactless to tilt the plate with one hand in order to scoop up the rest of the soup with a spoon.

8. Do not cut bread or rolls with a knife

If bread is served with the meal (e.g. with soup), do not cut it with a knife. You should break them gently with your hand, trying not to chip them.

9. Wipe your mouth before drinking

If you feel the need to drink water or another drink while eating, wipe your mouth with a napkin first. Leaving food remnants or a greasy mark on the rim of the glass is not only unsightly, but also very tactless.

10. Don't stretch your hand across the table

Unfortunately, this behavior is commonly observed at the table – it is not only uncivilized, but also makes it difficult for others to eat the meal. If you need something from the far end of the table, do not reach over your neighbors’ plates or get up to almost lie on the table to grab a plate or condiments. Be sure to ask someone else to apply.

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