Its a must to dine out at least once at an Italians local restaurant, autogrill, osteria or the trattoria. But before you engage yourself to the sumptuous Italian dishes, you have to painstakingly order something right? Dont be scared in reading the Italian words in the menu. The thing is that, menus in Italian restaurants are entirely done in the Italian language. To clue you in further, you only need to know the food under Italian descriptions which follow the order of the meal. It is common in Italy to serve different plates for specific orders so expect to find groups of food under certain categories like before meals, main course and dessert.
To translate the Italian categories from the menu, we start with food like mozzarella in carrozza or crostini. These types of food are served before the meal so its called L’antipasto in Italian.
First course servings already include pasta, risotto and soup (zuppa). It is called Il Primo in Italian. Next is the second course serving and it includes heavy meals and it is also regarded as the main course. Meat, poultry or fish are what this meal offers and it is called by Italians Il secondo.
Then, theres also the side dish and dessert after the main course. Usually, the Italian side dish consists of melanzane (eggplant), spinaci (spinach), or insalata mista (mixed salad), yes, its all vegetables and its called Il contorno by Italians.
Now the dessert is plainly called Il dolce and as always, its mostly sweets. There are a wide variety of desserts served in Italian restaurants but most of it is made of custard.
There, now that you know how to properly identify Italian food from a menu, you can now truly enjoy your meal and your stay in Italy.