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Posted by angela On December - 11 - 2012 3 Comments

A question from Karin:

My landlord invited us to lunch last Sunday. When I asked if I should bring some food to share he said: “No, just come and enjoy.” But the Italian guests arrived with a present, and I felt like a fool. What happened?


There is an Italian proverb that says: when you are invited, knock with your feet. But Please don’t follow this literally, especially with muddy boots!

It means never show up empty handed. Potluck is not popular here, instead the Italian custom is to bring a gift for the host. Wine, chocolate or flowers are good choices. Another possibility are pastries from a pasticceria. Let me give you some hints on how to choose: If you buy wine, don’t choose a cheap bottle. For flowers, never bring chrysanthemums, unless you hate your landlord: because in Italy they are only used on graves or at funerals. And if you buy pastries, you should calculate at least 100 grams per person.

Text by Angela Migliorati Novek ©2012 – all rights reserved


3 Responses

  1. Gilles says:

    I never heard this proverb before but it is true that in Italy you can’t arrive with empty hands when you are invited for diner! It is a nice way to say you are happy to be there!

  2. josepha says:

    curioso proverbio…non lo conoscevo…

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