Skype Me™!
Chat with me
  home | | | |
  regional info
  tuscany   campania   lakes   le marche   lazio   apulia   umbria
  veneto   sicily   liguria   external
Rental Villas Italy - Meridian Villas
 

Getting by in Italy

Index

Food and eating out

Tipping is optional in restaurants, however you should note restaurants usually charge 'coperto' or 'pane e coperto' which covers the costs of cleaning the tablecloth and napkins and bread (pane). The usual Italian custom is that you don’t tip if the owner is serving you.

Otherwise it is in order to leave a small tip to reward good service (upto 10%). Some restaurants in more touristy areas charge a service charge. This may be on top of coperto or instead of. Coperto and service charge should be noted on the menu, and if in doubt you should ask the waiter (cameriere). Our local manager of rental villas and apartments will be delighted to refer you to the nicest restaurants, trattorias and osterias in your area. > Top

Wine

Italy has some wonderful wine areas and most localities produce their own varieties of wine. Some of the better known wine areas are Chianti (Tuscany), Barolo (Piedmont), Valpolicella (Veneto), Lugana (Lake Garda)

In most towns and villages there are shops called 'vinoteca' which are bottleshops in which you can usually also buy a glass of wine from a choice of wines that they are featuring. It's a wonderful way to pass an hour or two and meet some of the locals. Often the vinoteca serve some apetisers - salami and the like to accompany the wine. > Top

Shopping

Market days: Please refer to our house book. Supermarkets and minimarkets are available in most towns and villages. The most interesting experience, however is to be had in the many alimentari (food) stores where you will be greeted by the colour and character of the local villagers. A guide to food stores is as follows:

Alimentari

Minimarket

Salumeria

Delicatessen

Macellaio

Butcher

Panetteria

Bread shop

Bar

Coffee shop

Pasticceria

Cake and Coffee shop

Tabaccaio

Tobacco, bus tickets, parking tickets

Giornalaio

Newspapers and magazines

Abbigliamento

Clothing

Farmacia

Chemist/Pharmacy

Parrucchiera

Hairdresser

Barbiere

Barber

Official shopping hours can vary in the different regions and during the summer months. Most shops are closed on Sundays, however during high season, usually trade from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Banks respect the hours above except for Saturday when they do not open. There are ample banks and money exchanges in all towns and ATMs are readily available even in small villages.

Post Offices (Ufficio Postale) are located in most villages, and are usually open in the mornings from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. Stamps (francobollo) are available in all denominations.

Food shops are usually closed on Thursday afternoons, whilst on Monday mornings the barbers and hairdressers (Parrucchiere) have a rest. > Top

Italian Words and Expressions

A few pointers on Italian pronunciation: Most words ending in ‘e’ have a sound like the english phonetic ‘ay’. The use of the vowells ‘e’ and ‘i’ after c and g have a particular pronunciation which is almost opposite to English es.:

  • ..ci,.. gi chi jee cappuccino
  • ..ce.., ge chay jay

Meanwhile, words which include ‘ch’ or ‘gh’ are pronounced with a soft ‘c’ or ‘g’ eg. Chiesa (keyaysa).
Essentials

Si

Yes

No

No

Dov’e (dovey)

Where is …

Che cos’è

What is it

Come si chiama

How do you call it

Aiuto

Help

Devo trovare

I must find

Greetings

Buon giorno

Good morning

Buona sera

Good evening

Buona notte

Good night

Arrivederci

Goodbye (til next time)

Ciao

Goodbye (informal)

Courtesy

Per favore

Please

Grazie

Thankyou

Prego

You’re welcome

Travel

Quanto costa

How much does it cost

Il biglietto

The ticket

A (r)

… To …

Da

From

Solo andata

One way

Andata e ritorno

Return

La stazione

The station

Autobus

Bus

Treno

Train

Aliscafo

Hydrofoil

Traghetto

Ferry

Medical

La farmacia

Pharmacy, Chemist

Il Dottore

The doctor

L’ospedale

The hospital

Emergenza

Emergency

Adjectives

Grande

Large

Piccolo

Small

Caldo

Hot

Freddo

Cold

Ripida

Steep

Profonda

Deep

Bar

Caffè

Coffee

… latte

… in a glass of warm milk

… macchiato

…with a hint of milk

… corretto

… with a hint of alcohol

… lungo

… long black

… freddo

… cold, unsweetened

… shaka

… sweet iced black coffee

Cappuccino

Coffee with milk and froth

Te (con latte)

Tea (with milk)

Acqua

Water

… frizzante

… bubbly

… naturale

… normal

Cornetto

Little buns

… con crema

…with custard

… con chocolato

… with chocolate

… con marmalata

…with jam

Sfogliatelle

Flaky buns with sweet ricotta and spices or fruit

Directions

In fondo

At the bottom

Altro lato

Other side

Gira

Turn

Sinistra, destra

Left, right

Sempre avanti

Keep going

Eating out Traditions have changed, and there is little differentiation between the the types of restaurants in Italy today. Traditionally, however they were as follow

Trattoria/Osteria

Cheap home style cooking

Restaurant

More expensive a la carte

Generally, the food and pricing still follows this order, however, this is not always the rule.

Antipasto

Plate of delicacies to nibble on

Alici

Marinated fresh anchovies – yum

Cozze

Mussels

Vongole

Clams

Frutti di mare

Mixed shell fish

Caprese

Mozzarella with Tomato and basil

Primo

First plate – Usually pasta or soup

Pasta

Too many different kinds to list

Gnocchi

Potato based pasta

Risotto

Rice based dish

Pomodoro

Tomato

Carciofi

Artichokes

Gamberoni

Prawns

Secondi

Main Course

Manzo

Beef

Agnello

Lamb

Maiale

Pork

Costoletta

Cutlet

Cavallo

Horse (just to let you know)

Capra

Goat

Pesce

Fish

Aragosta

Crayfish/Lobster

Sarago, Orata

Bream, Bass

Cernia

Grouper

Pesce Spada

Swordfish

Seppie

Cuttlefish

Calamari

Squid

Contorni

Side dishes

Insalata verde

Green salad

Insalata miste

Mixed salad

Verdura alla griglia

Grilled vegetables

Patatine

Fried chips

Dolce

Desserts-Try them all

> Top
 
Tuscany | Capania | Lakes | Le Marche | Lazio | Apulia | Umbria | Veneto | Sicily | Specials | Booking request | Terms | About us | Site map
© Copyright 2014 Meridian Villas - phone +44 0207 060 3390.