An Italian Dinner Party theme will create a festive memorable dinner party. Learn how to throw an easy dinner party using traditional Italian decor and authentic Italian recipes.
- What is an Italian dinner party?
- Italian dinner music ideas
- How to host the party
- Italian appitizer recipes
- Italian table decorations
- Summer Italian dinner party menu
- What goes with pasta on a pasta bar?
- Healthy Italian menu
- Elegant Italian menu
- Casual Italian party menu
- Spagehtti dinner ideas
- Italian comfort food ideas
- Northern Italy dinner menu
- Southern Italy dinner menu
- Italian Christmas party menu
- Italian dessert recipes
- 🎥 Need more ideas?
What is an Italian dinner party?
A traditional Italian dinner consists of many courses, starting with antipasti, pasta (primi), meat (secondi), salad, soup, fruit and cheese, and dessert (dolce). When hosting your own dinner, set the tables with traditional Italian decor, and choose recipes from each course to serve.
Italian dinner music ideas
Create a playlist on Amazon Music or Spotify. Italian-American flair would be hit by Dean Martin and Rosemary Clooney. You could add classical opera by Puccini, or a more contemporary sound with Eros Ramazzotti or Lucio Battisti.
How to host the party
First, choose a theme. This will help narrow down what recipes you plan on serving. Next, scroll through the decorating ideas. Pull out any items you might have on hand that will suit the theme. If you need a few ideas for more items you can quickly order some supplies from the links under the party photos below.
What is a typical Italian dinner?
The website SpeakItalian.com has a wonderful list to help you break down the sections of an Italian Dinner Menu.
Aperitivo: A small glass of liqueur enjoyed before the meal, like Prosecco or Campari.
The antipasto: A traditional Italian meal starts with something to nibble on, called an antipasto, which translates into English as “before the meal.” Can include hot and cold appetizers like cheese, sopprasatta, bread, and dressed vegetables.
The primo: In Italy, pasta is a first course, or primo, served as an appetizer, not as the main event. Soup, rice, and polenta are the other options for the primo.
The secondo: The main course is called il secondo, or the second course. Chicken, meat, or fish are the usual choices, and portions are generally small. These main courses are usually fairly simple, especially if a rich pasta or rice dish precedes them.
The contorno: A platter of vegetables usually accompanies the main course. This side dish highlights the simple goodness of the vegetable.
The dolce: A dolce (or sweet) ends a traditional Italian meal.
Caffe: coffee and its permutations. A must with the dolce.
Digestivo: a “digestive” or after dinner liqueur like grappa and limoncello.
Party planner check list
Get this Free Printable Party Planner to help you easily throw a fun and memorable party. This planner will keep the process of planning a party easy.
- Brainstorming and party details sheet
- Day of the party schedule
- Count down to-do checklist
- Party space grid planner sheet
- Free printable banner with letters
You can make these pdf pages into a party binder by printing all the pages, hole punch them, and place in a notebook.
What is an Italina appitizer called?
An appetizer in Italy is called an antipasto. It can be served hot or cold, cooked or raw. Antipasti (plural form) can be served on individual plates, in bite-sized pieces on a plate that is passed around the table or presented as an elegant centerpiece for everyone to share.
What is aperitivo in Italy?
Aperitivo (or apéritif) is often described as being similar to the American happy hour. An aperitivo is more like a pre-meal drink specifically meant to whet your appetite. A few light snacks such as potato chips, cheese, hard meats, and crackers might be served with it.
Why not host an apitizo and cocktail party?
Mix up a batch of homemade Italian seasoned dip to serve with fresh vegetables. When I was in Italy they always served plain potatos chips at apitivo with dip.
Italian appitizer recipes
Italian table decorations
This Vicarious Life sets the mood with a rustic Italian dinner theme. Natural elements such as wood placemats, dried leaf garlands on a simple white table cloth
Inspired by This shows how to create a table centerpiece using the vegetables you will be serving in your menu. This tablescape is created with cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes, artichokes, fresh herbs,
Style Me Pretty has a beautiful picture teaching us how to set up an olive bar for our party. A variety of olive oils, bottles of vinegar, olives, and fresh cubes of bread give your guest delicious choices to fill their plates with.
Cortney over at Pizzazzerie sets her tables with red checkered napkins, fresh herbs. She shares with us how to create a fun Italian word search name card as part of the table setting.
Wunderwieb has a cute idea that is budget-friendly for sure. Just save your tomato cans from the recipes you make. Rinse them out well then fill with water then add fresh herbs and flowers for table decorations.
Fantabulosity shares with us a cute idea for an Italian dinner party table setting that uses the bread as decorations. In the
Summer Italian dinner party menu
Treat your guest by serving a traditional fresh tomato sauce dish. The rich, delicious flavor of this homemade Spaghetti Sauce with Fresh T
What goes with pasta on a pasta bar?
How about having an Italian pasta bar meal? Serve different types of pasta shapes, spaghetti, cork, bow tie. Then, have several sauces for toppings. Just add a simple salad and bread and you have a wonderful Italian pasta bar meal.
Healthy Italian menu
Elegant Italian menu
A traditional, slow-cooked roast that gives you time to invest in something else, maybe to knead bread or to make a batch of ricotta tortelli. Jul's Kitchen
Casual Italian party menu
Your cheese-loving guest will flip for this crazy good and addictive, Italian Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread.
Spagehtti dinner ideas
Jul's Kitchen shares with us the simplicity of a great Italian sauce, cherry tomatoes, good extra virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic, thyme, and oregano. You don’t need anything else to make a healthy bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce, with bold Mediterranean flavors.
If you love cheese then this is the Italian pasta dish for you! There a 6 kinds of cheese in this recipe, with fresh tomatoes and basil. It is one of my kid's favorite spaghetti dishes.
Italian comfort food ideas
Jul's Kitchen shares an authentic, garlicky tomato sauce, a handful of pitted olives to stir in some bitterness, and strips of browned guanciale to coat a simple bowl of pasta, better if whole wheat. All you need is a sprinkling of cheese, a chair, and a fork to call this a meal.
Northern Italy dinner menu
Tuscany dinner party menu
Southern Italy dinner menu
Italian Christmas party menu
Italian dessert recipes
Strawberry tart with elderflower pastry cream has a buttery shortcrust shell. There is an elderflower pastry cream filling and plenty of ripe strawberries, simply dressed with lemon juice and sugar it is a dessert that is sure to wow your guest.
Biscotti would be a wonderful after-dinner sweet to go with coffee and conversation.
When I was in Italy I spent some time with Giulia Scarpaleggia of Jul's Kitchen. She is a sweet chef that has a heart for teaching the world how to cook authentic Italian food. Her stories and recipes are a delight.
She has a wonderful Italian cookbook full of beautiful stories, pictures, and great recipes. I highly recommend adding I Love Toscana to your collections.