), when visiting a small town, but this is not the case in the city centers of the biggest cities or in shopping malls. '''Dinner''' (i.e. the evening meal) is generally taken late. In the summer, if you are in a restaurant before 8pm you are likely to be eating on your own, and it is quite normal to see families with young children still dining after 10pm. In Italy cuisine is considered a ''kind of art''. Great chefs such as Gualtiero Marchesi and Gianfranco Vissani are seen as half-way between TV stars and magicians. Italians are extremely proud of their culinary tradition and generally love food and talking about it. However, they are not so fond of common preconceptions, such as that Italian food is only pizza and spaghetti. They also have a distaste for "bastardized" versions of their dishes that are popular elsewhere, and many Italians have a hard time believing that the average foreigner can't get even a basic pasta dish "right". A note about service: do not expect the kind of dedicated, focused service you will find in American restaurants. In Italy this is considered somewhat annoying and people generally prefer to be left alone when consuming their meal. You should expect the waiter to come and check on you after your first course, maybe to order something as second course. You should consider that Italy's most famous dishes like pizza or spaghetti are quite lame for some Italians, and eating in different areas can be an interesting opportunity to taste some less well known local specialties. Even for something as simple as pizza there are significant regional variations. That of Naples has a relatively thick, soft crust while that of Rome is considerably thinner and crustier. (Both styles are thin-crust compared to, for example, American styles of pizza, however.) When dining out with Italians read the menu and remember that almost every restaurant has a typical dish and some towns have centuries-old traditions that you are invited to learn. People will be most happy when you ask for local specialties and will gladly advise you. In Northern Italy at around 17:00 most bars will prepare for an '''aperitivo''' especially in cosmopolitan Milan, with a series of plates of nibbles, cheese, olives, meat, bruschetta and much more... This is NOT considered a meal and should you indulge yourself in eating as if it was dinner, you would most likely not be very much appreciated. All this food is typically free to anyone who purchases a drink but it is intended to be a premeal snack. Specialties Almost every city and region has its own specialties, a brief list of which may include: *'''Risotto''' – Carnaroli or Arborio or Vialone Nano (etc.) rice that has been sautéed and cooked in a shallow pan with stock. The result is a very creamy and hearty dish. Meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, and cheeses are almost always added depending on the recipe and the locale. Many restaurants, families, towns, and regions will have a signature risotto or at least style of risotto, in addition or in place of a signature pasta dish (risotto alla Milanese is a famous Italian classic). Risotto is a typical dish in Lombardy and Piedmont. *'''Arancini''' – Balls of rice with tomato sauce, eggs, peas and mozzarella cheese that are deep fried. They are a specialty from Sicily, though are now quite common all over. *'''Polenta''' – Yellow corn meal (yellow grits) that has been cooked with stock. It is normally served either creamy, or allowed to set up and then cut into shapes and fried or roasted. It is a very common dish in northern mountain restaurants, usually eaten with deer or boar meat. In the Veneto region the best polenta is "polenta bianca", a special, tasty, and white cornmeal called "biancoperla". *'''Gelato''' – This is the Italian word for ice cream. The non-fruit flavors are usually made only with milk. Gelato made with water and without dairy ingredients is also known as sorbetto. It's fresh as a sorbet, but tastier. There are many flavors, including coffee, chocolate, fruit, and tiramisù. When buying at a gelateria, you have the choice of having it served in a wafer cone or a tub; in northern Italy you'll pay for every single flavour "ball", and the panna (the milk cream) counts as a flavour; in Rome you can buy a small wafer cone (around 1,80€) a medium one (2,50 €) or a large one (3,00€) without limit of flavours, and the panna is free. *'''Tiramisù''' – Italian cake made with coffee, mascarpone, and ladyfingers (sometimes rum) with cocoa powder on the top. The name means "pick-me-up". class "galleryTable noFloat" - thumb 220px Tagliatelle agli Scampi (File:Tagliatelle Scampi.JPG) thumb 220px Risotto al persico (File:Risotto al persico .JPG) thumb 220px Polenta con carne (File:Polenta con carne.JPG) Pizza thumb 250px Pizza Rucola (File:Pizza Rucola.JPG) Pizza is a quick and convenient meal. In most cities there are pizza shops that sell by the gram. Look for a sign '''Pizza al taglio'''. When ordering, simply point to the display or tell the attendant the type of pizza you would like (e.g. pizza margherita, pizza con patate (roasted or french fries), pizza al prosciutto (ham), etc.) and how much ("Vorrei (due fette - two slices) or (due etti - two-tenths of a kilogram) or simply say "di più - more" or "di meno - less, per favore"). They will slice it, warm it in the oven, fold it in half, and wrap it in paper. Other food shops also sell pizza by the slice. Italians consider those a sort of second class pizza, chosen only when you cannot eat a "real" pizza in a specialized restaurant (Pizzeria). Getting your meal on the run can save money—many sandwich shops charge an additional fee if you want to sit to eat your meal. Remember that in many parts of the country pizzas have a thinner base of bread and less cheese than those found outside Italy. The most authentic, original pizzas is found in Naples - often containing quite a few ingredients. The traditional, round pizza is found in many restaurants and specialized pizza restaurants (pizzerie). It is rare to find a restaurant that serves pizza at lunchtime, however. Take-away pizzerias (pizzerie da asporto) are becoming ubiquitous in many cities and towns. These are often run by north African immigrants and quality may vary, though they are almost always cheaper than restaurants (€4-5 for a margherita on average, though sometimes as low as €3) and are also open at lunchtime (a few are also open all day long). Some will also serve kebab, which may also vary in quality. Though take-away pizzas are also considered "second-class pizza" by most Italians, they are quite popular among the vast population of university students and they are usually located in residential areas. This is not to be confused with the ever so popular "Pizza al Taglio" shops in Rome. These are a sort of traditional fast food in the Capital City and can be found at every corner. Quality is usually very good and pizza is sold by the weight; you choose the piece of pizza you want, then they put it on the scale and tell you the price. thumb 180px Cheese - Formaggi misti (File:Rifugio Alpino Boffalora (4).JPG) Cheese and sausages In Italy you can find nearly 800 kinds of cheese, including the famous Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, and over 400 types of sausages. If you want a real kick, then try to find one of the huge open markets, which are always open on Saturdays and usually during other days, except Sunday, as well. You will find all types of cheese and meat on display Restaurants and bars thumb right 180px the menu (File:Rifugio Alpino Boffalora (5).JPG) Italian bars in the center of major cities charge more (typically double whatever the final bill is) if you drink or eat seated at a table outside rather than standing at the bar or taking your order to go. This is because bars are charged a very high tax to place tables and chairs outside, so since most people do not use tables anyway, they had decided long ago to only charge those who do. The further away you are from the center streets, the less this rule is applied. When calling into a bar for a coffee or other drink you first go to the cash register and pay for what you want. You then give the receipt to the barman, who will serve you. Restaurants always used to charge a small ''coperto'' (cover charge). Some years ago attempts were made to outlaw the practice, with limited success. The rule now seems to be that if you have bread a coperto can be charged but if you specifically say that you don't want bread then no coperto can be levied. This has happened mainly because of backpackers who sat at a table, occupied it for an hour by just ordering a drink or a salad and consuming enormous amounts of bread. Some restaurants now levy a service charge, but this is far from common. In Italian restaurants a large tip is never expected. The customary 15% of the United States may cause an Italian waiter to drop dead with a heart attack. Just leave a Euro or two and they will be more than happy. The traditional meal can include (in order) ''antipasto'' (starter of cold seafood, gratinated vegetables or ham and salami), ''primo'' (first dish - pasta or rice dishes), ''secondo'' (second dish - meat or fish dishes), served together with ''contorno'' (mostly vegetables), cheeses fruit, ''dessert'', coffee, and spirits. Upmarket restaurants usually refuse to make changes to proposed dishes (exceptions warmly granted for babies or people on special diets). Mid-range restaurants are usually more accommodating. For example, a simple pasta with tomato sauce may not be on the menu but a restaurant will nearly always be willing to cook one for kids who turn their noses up at everything else on the menu. If you are in a large group (say four or more) then it is appreciated if you don't all order a totally different pasta. While the sauces are pre-cooked the pasta is cooked fresh and it is difficult for the restaurant if one person wants '''spaghetti''', another '''fettuccine''', a third '''rigatoni''', a fourth '''penne''' and a fifth '''farfalle''' (butterfly shaped pasta). If you attempt such an order you will invariably be told that you will have a long wait (because the time required for cooking isn't the same for all the types of pasta)! When pizza is ordered, it is served as a ''primo'' (even if formally it is not considered as such), together with other ''primi''. If you order a pasta or pizza and your friend has a steak you will get your pasta dish, and probably when you've finished eating the steak will arrive. If you want ''primo'' and ''secondo'' dishes to be brought at the same time you have to ask. Restaurants which propose '''diet food''', very few, usually write it clearly in menus and even outside; others usually don't have any dietetic resources. To avoid cover charges, and if you are on a strict budget,almost all the railway stations of Italy have a buffet or self-service restaurant ( Termini station in Rome is a great example of the latter). These are always reasonably priced, and generally the food is of a high quality. Gastronomia A Gastronomia is a kind of self-service restaurant (normally you tell the staff what you want rather than serving yourself) that also offers take-aways. This can give a good opportunity to sample traditional Italian dishes at fairly low cost. Note that these are not buffet restaurants. You pay according to what you order. Drink Bars, like restaurants, are non-smoking. Italians enjoy going out during the evenings, so it's common to have a drink in a bar before dinner. It is called '''Aperitivo'''. Within the last couple years, started by Milan, a lot of bars have started offering fixed-price cocktails at aperitivo hours (18 - 21) with a free, and often a very good, buffet meal. It's now widely considered stylish to have this kind of aperitivo (called '''Happy Hour''') instead of a structured meal before going out to dance or whatever. Water While safe to drink, the tap water (''acqua del rubinetto'') in some peninsular parts of Italy can be cloudy with a slight off taste. Most Italians prefer bottled water, which is served in restaurants. Make sure you let the waiter waitress know you want still water (''acqua naturale'' or ''acqua senza gas'') or else you could get water with either natural gas or with added carbonation (''frizzante'' or ''con gas''). Rome, in particular, has exceptional pride in the quality of its water. This goes right back to the building of aqueducts channeling pure mountain water to all the citizens of Rome during Roman times. Don't waste plastic bottles. You can refill your drinking containers and bottles at any of the constant running taps and fountains dotted around the city, safe in the knowledge that you are getting excellent quality cool spring water - try it! Wine Italian wine is exported all over the world, and names like Barolo, Brunello and Chianti are known everywhere. In Italy wine is a substantial topic, a sort of test which can ensure either respect or lack of attention from an entire restaurant staff. Doing your homework ensures that you will get better service, better wine and in the end may even pay less.
and collective memory, but also occult symbolism, theology and mysticism. The theme of all the work is the trauma experienced by entire societies, and the continual rebirth and renewal in life. During the 1980s his paintings became more physical, and featured unusual textures and materials. Sue Hubbard (October 24, 2008), art great-works margarete-1981-by-anselm-kiefer-saatchi-collection-970630.html Margarete (1981