Italian Restaurants

on Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Eating out in Italy is more expensive compared to some areas of the United States. Expect a minimum of about $20 per person.

Pizzeria's are usually relatively inexpensive, depending on where you go. For one pizza, prices can start at about 4 euro on up. The pizza is about the size of a "medium" American style pizza, but is a thin crust, a light layer of tomato sauce and cheese and is for one person.

For an excellent meal, especially of the local "cuisine", and if time isn't an issue, an agritourismo is always a good choice. They are located out in the countryside, and they usually grow/raise at part of their menu. Average meal takes about 3 hours, from start to finish. Price about 30 euro a person (on average).

Tipping - most restaurants charge between 1 - 3 euro per person, and it is for the "place setting", so for the table setting, bread, etc. Waiters usually earn a decent salary. You aren't goning to be chased after if you don't leave tip. If you do leave something, one or two euros is acceptable.

Water - Water is served in glass or plastic bottles. There are two types, gassata/frizzante (carbonated) or naturale (regular, non-carbonated). Tap water in most parts of Italy is pretty hard, and people usually prefer the taste of bottled water over tap water.

Bars - In many bars, they charge more if you occupy a table versus if you stand at the bar and have a beverage. Even if you order and get your drinks yourself then sit down, you're still charged for sitting at a table. For example, in Milan, if you stand at the bar and have a cappuccino, it would cost you around 1.20 euro, and if you sit down, price more than doubles to around 4 - 5 euros.

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