In Italy it is better for the host to receive their gift wrapped. Quality and appearance means a lot to Italians so don’t pick up the cheapest thing that you can find. Flowers, chocolates or even a nice bottle of wine are all acceptable gifts.
Do’s and Don’ts of Invitations;
- Do not decline the invitation unless you have a very good reason for not being able to attend, it is considered rude otherwise.
- Formal invitations should be hand written and made via post not by email or texting.
- Informal events between friends and relatives are better asked in person but emailing or texting is fine.
- Even at an informal event with friends and relatives a ‘smart but casual’ approach is appreciated. Don’t turn up in tatty jeans or a tracksuit but don’t overdress either.
- Punctuality in Italy is a loose term, it is respectful to arrive on time however if in Italy you don’t have to arrive on-the dot, if you do, you will more than likely be the only guests there. It is acceptable to arrive between 15-30 minutes late.
- Bringing gifts to a formal meal, even of close friends, is, highly considered. Wine, chocolates and food are the most appreciated, and flowers are considered too.
- Expect to reciprocate the invitation to your host within two to three weeks.
Do’s and Don’ts of Gift Giving;
- Chrysanthemums are symbols of sorrow and death and are only given in funerals.
- Red flowers (particularly roses) are seen as a sign of romance.
- For the more superstitious, yellow flowers symbolize anger and jealousy.
- Wrapping gifts in purple is considered bad luck.
- When wrapping gifts please note that black and gold are colours normally reserved for funerals.
- When receiving a gift it should be opened immediately. To put it away to open later is considered a mark of disrespect.
- Gifts of food are appreciated if you have been invited for a meal.