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What Are the Best Tips for Throwing an Italian-Themed Party?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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One of the most celebrated aspects of Italian heritage is Italian food. Planning an Italian-themed party should start with determining which food items will be offered, as well as what decorations will be used and what practices will be observed. It helps to determine who will be in attendance at the Italian-themed party so all aspects of the party are appropriate for the attendees. If, for example, children will be attending the party, wine should not be the only drink available. Remember that various attendees will have differing tastes, so it helps to prepare some safer, less adventurous dishes that everyone can enjoy.

Think about what kind of Italian-themed party will be most enjoyable. The party planner may, for example, want to create a party atmosphere that celebrates Italian culture in a general way, or an atmosphere that focuses on a particular region of Italy. A Tuscan-themed party, for example, will feature foods and decorations that mimic the look and atmosphere of Tuscany. A Venetian party will feature different types of decorations that more accurately reflect that area of Italy. A bit of research on the Internet will give the party planner an idea of which decorations, foods, and practices will suit each region of Italy.

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When throwing an Italian-themed party that will involve the preparation and serving of food, think carefully about what foods will be served and in what order. Many authentic Italian meals feature several dishes served in a particular order; a pasta dish is usually included, as is a main course, then a salad dish, and a dessert. An antipasto salad is an easy dish to prepare that will give guests something to snack on if a full meal will not be served. Antipasto usually includes various types of meat, olives, peppers, and vegetables served over a bed of lettuce.

Another good idea for planning an Italian-themed party is to schedule the party in accordance with an Italian holiday or significant event. Many sports fans might benefit from planning an Italian-themed party during a soccer match in which Italy's national team will be playing. This gives guests built-in entertainment while they are waiting for a meal or simply conversing over hors d'oeuvres. Italian music can be played if no such sporting event is available, or an Italian movie can be played on the television. Otherwise, Italian decorations and foods will give guests plenty to enjoy during the party.

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MrSmirnov
Post 6

@letshearit - My family and I had an Italian themed party for my wife's birthday last year, as her main gift was actually a trip to Italy with me. She had always wanted to see The Leaning Tower of Pisa so I made her dream come true.

To keep the party from looking too much like a cheap Italian restaurant we ended up using a lot of red and white decorations in a very classic way. For the table settings we had rich red tablecloths and our napkins were Italian plaid. When we picked dinner settings we chose simple white dishes and nice silver cutlery for a clean look. We didn't actually do much with the room itself, just letting the food speak for itself.

letshearit
Post 5

Can anyone suggest some good decorating ideas for an Italian-themed party that wouldn't be considered too cheesy?

I know whenever I think of Italy I have images of a man in a gondola singing in the canals of Venice, and I see people exploring the ruins of Rome. I kind of want to get away from the images that always pop into my head though, and do something identifiable but unique.

Also, do you think there are any costumes that would be appropriate for servers to wear? I would really like to go all out for this party, so having the staff dress up would be fun.

Ivan83
Post 4

I threw an Italian themed party a few years back and it went great. We had lots of good food, good drink and good times. It was pretty easy to organize too.

I went to a party store and got some red and white checkered table cloths. Then I collected some old wine bottles from a recycling dumpster and stuck candles in them. I put some Italian music on the stereo and we had lots of Italian foods from appetizers to entrees to desserts. The whole house smelled like garlic. As a final fun touch I got a bunch of fake mustaches for my guests to wear. I know that not all Italians wear mustaches, but it was a silly fun touch that helped everyone get in the spirit of the party.

summing
Post 3

@mabeT - You might be surprised by your guests appetites. After all, a lot of the most common Italian foods are just meat, cheese, pasta and sauce. A good lasagna or just a spaghetti with meat sauce might be a way to transition your guests appetites into a more interesting territory.

My little brother is an incredibly picky eater. He barely eats any vegetables and has lots of issues with certain ingredients and textures. But he loves Italian foods from spaghetti bolognese to fettuccine alfredo. I think for even picky eaters Italian food is pretty acceptable. Good luck. They will come around eventually.

Eviemae
Post 2

@mabeT - You know what I think? I think that the best way for you to go is to just ease those hamburger fans right into the culinary delights of Italy! After all, we all know that once they get a little taste, they’re going to be begging for more!

I would say to maybe take this endeavor in stages. Host a small get together and offer some Italian appetizers and wine before your main course, which could be American (hamburgers, if you will).

Then, maybe a couple of weeks later, have another little powwow and introduce a little more, not-to-terribly adventurous Italian cuisine. Judge for yourself whether your next move should be full-blown, all the way Italian favorites!

mabeT
Post 1

Throwing and Italian themed party sounds like so much fun to me! However, I’m not sure how well it would go over in my neck of the woods.

I don’t know; maybe I’m not adventurous enough, but I hang out with a hamburger kind of crowd. I wonder if there is any way that I could convince them that Italian food is fun, not fancily frivolous.

Does anyone have any tips on how to get people who normally are very conservative in their food choices (to the extreme kind of conservative, that is) to go for a party with all of the rich foods that Italy has to offer?

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