Etiquette

Italy is quite a formal society and the niceties of social interaction are observed.

  • Greetings Greet people in bars, shops, trattorias etc with a buongiorno (good morning) or buonasera (good evening).
  • Asking for help Say mi scusi (excuse me) to attract attention; use permesso (permission) to pass someone in a crowded space.
  • Dress Cover up when visiting churches and go smart when eating out.
  • Eating Out Eat pasta with a fork, not a spoon; it's OK to eat pizza with your hands.
  • Gifts If invited to someone’s home, traditional gifts are a tray of dolci (sweets) from a pasticceria (pastry shop), a bottle of wine or flowers.