Learn to speak a little Italian. You don't need to be able to carry on a fluent conversation but anything beyond please and thank you, will get you serious love.
Flirt. You're in Italy. You'll dine better for it.
If there's a problem or you don't like something, don't get angry, don't complain loudly, and don't blame. Leave that to the Germans and Brits. Besides, it won't work anyway. Try patience, humor and your newly learned, rudimentary Italian.
Never ask for a restaurant recommendation at the hotel desk.
Italian beer is a waste of time. Sorry.
One word: Trattoria.
Another word: Vino.
Just because Hemingway ate there, doesn't mean it's still good. If several waiters in the restaurant speak fluent English, go somewhere else.
Seasonal. Local. Traditional cured meats, olives, cheeses.
Fish. You can actually get fresh. Poultry. Ditto.
There's no such thing as "authentic."
The espresso isn't what it used to be. The big importer/roasters have become very corporate and pennywise. It's still a lot better than what you can find in most places in the States. Besides, it's the law. Don't waste your time searching for a latte with lots of flavors, not only do they not do that at all well, you'll embarrass the rest of us. Cappuccino is okay. You have my permission.
Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/3/11 at 7:08am