Spread of several dishes holding Italian food, including pasta, fish, and salad
Food - Drink
Are You Expected To Order 4 Courses For Every Meal In Italy?
Italy is full of beautiful scenery, history, art, and food, and that last item is an effective (and delicious) way to understand Italian culture. An Italian dinner may include multiple courses like antipasti, primi, secondi, contorni, and dolci, but if you don't have a huge appetite, you may wonder if you actually need to eat four courses.
When in Italy, you have the option of ordering a four course meal, but don’t feel pressured to do so, because those types of meals are usually reserved for big events. Restaurant manager Raffaele Ruggerio told Food & Wine, “If I want to have an evening with my wife or friends, it's rare that I eat such a big meal because it's a lot.”
No matter how many courses are served, Italian meals are a leisurely affair that you can stretch out as long as you like, but you don't have to order something for every course. Italy isn’t a country where you should watch your waistline, so take time to indulge and try a four course meal if you want, or simply sample what interests you.