Remember: in Italy, you’ve entered a Food and Table culture. There are rules. Serious ones. To their credit, most Italian eateries are masters at serving their cuisine as-is, ready-to-eat, with no need for additional condiments. The grating of parmesan cheese being a singular exception, or perhaps a concession, given the variety of clientele that saunter into their establishments. Here’s the deal. If you really want to know the Real Italy, and do like the locals do, then there are some guidelines to follow of what to do and not to do when dining. Stray from the path just a little and titled heads, quizzical looks, and sideways glances ensue. Here’s a concise starter list.

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