The Anatomy of an Epic Italian Dinner
Explore our guide to dining like an Italian, then bring the experience to your own home or visit your local Eataly!
Dinner begins with an antipasto, which appropriately translates to "pre-meal." Often enjoyed with a cocktail or glass of sparkling wine, this small course is intended to awaken the appetite (much like aperitivo), preparing us for the full and delicious meal to come.
Now, we're ready for the primo piatto. For the "first plate," we look for something slightly heavier than our antipasto that will satisfy our hunger but not fill us fully — after all, we'll only be halfway through dinner!
The "second plate" is the pinnacle of any Italian dinner. The heartiest of all courses, il secondo piatto should be savored slowly in good company, preferably along with a robust red wine.
Finally, dinner ends with dessert, of course! We love to enjoy the final course with an amaro, digestivo, or espresso; the slightly bitter drinks not only balance the dessert's sweetness but also traditionally help us digest the long meal.