As cuisine rankings go, Italian is at the top of most everyone’s list. From pizza to pasta and every meatball in between, Italian food is a main staple at family dinners on a regular basis. If you ever are fortunate to travel to Italy, then you’ll be exposed to as much great food as you would imagine but it might not always be what you might expect. Here then are some of the ways to eat like a true Italian.

Forget the Breakfast Meeting

Despite the recommendations for making breakfast the most important meal of the day, Italians prefer a minimalist approach. A quick cup of coffee and a sweet pastry then out the door. This is why you probably won’t see a lot of breakfast meetings happening in Italy. As for coffee meetings, they will more like take place in the office then a café. There is just too much going on to concentrate on business!

Salad Last

It is rare to have a salad at the start of a meal in Italy. It usually comes at the end to help with the digestion. And you won’t find a lot of creamy dressings. Oil and vinegar. Keep it simple.

Pasta is Primo

Italians will most likely have a pasta dish at least once a day. For the big meals it is always primo or the first course. Even in the coastal cities where seafood dominates, you’ll find that pasta will be featured at every dinner. At lunch, a typical pasta serving is just around 5 ounces.

Put Down the Knife

You’ll never see an Italian cutting their pasta. Even the bambinos learn to twirl at a young age. Two strands of spaghetti in a twirl is ideal. What’s the rush?

Wine With Dinner

At an Italian dinner, the wine is meant to compliment the meal. That means it will be served with the meal. There isn’t a lot of pre-dinner drinks or cocktails at an Italian table. You won’t even get your water glassed refilled! Savor.

Bread is for the Sauce

Although you might be “starving,” filling up on bread before dinner is served is frowned upon. In most Italian homes, the bread is used just to mop up the sauce from the plate. Nothing wrong with that.

Fork Pizza

Believe it or not, most Italians don’t have a problem with eating pizza with a knife and fork provided it is served at dinner. If you’re out and about and grab a slice to go, then you use your hands.

Now you’re ready to eat like an Italian!