How to Throw an Italian Summer Dinner Party

We’ve all been influenced by those picturesque Instagram scenes of an al fresco table scape overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Each dreamscape appearing from the eather, the simplicity and elegance instilling in every viewer the dream of moving to Italy. Perched high on the cliffs overlooking the blue Mediterranean Sea, a whimsical table scape waits for its diners under the kind shade of a pergola overgrown with greenery. Lemons droop like tiny lanterns from the depths of vegetation, wafting the air with their intoxicating fragrance. Soon, the table will be filled with plates of steaming spaghetti al vongole, fresh tomato salads, eggplant caponata, and crusty bread. The promise of a red Aperol Spritz' tickling your tongue and wine that flows like water. A true Italian dreamworld. 

In reality, we can’t all live that “best life,” but we can live ours by bringing a touch of that idyllic Italian vibe into our homes. After all, our favorite summertime memories were born from unforgettable dinner parties. We’ve put together a guide to help you throw the best Italian summer dinner party of the year. Or maybe, it’s just a guide to help you bring more warm Italian summer nights into your home on a daily basis. It’s all up to you. 


Italian Summer Dinner Party


Table Setting  

Let’s start with aesthetics. To bring the warm inviting atmosphere of an Italian al fresco dinner to your home, it doesn’t have to be complicated or require a whole new set of textiles. While iconic colorful ceramic dinner plates, elegant linen napkins, and vibrant glassware certainly invoke the colors and tone you’d expect to find dining on the Amalfi coast, creating a feel of simple elegance can be equally as powerful. If you do have any dishes, napkins, or glassware with pops of bold color, by all means bring them out. 


Italian Ceramics


As for florals, a large bowl or glass vase filled with bright lemons is really all you need. Sure, you could go all out with freshly cut roses, or whatever is blooming in your garden, but it’s by no means necessary. Italians are experts in using what’s on hand, what’s practical and simply beautiful. 


Lemon Table Setting


Finally, you’ll want to bring a touch of warmth with lighting. While a string of hanging lights can do in a pinch, nothing brings an enticing glow quite like live candles. Finish your setting with a scattering of tealights in glass votives or a few tapered candles and your dinner will glow with the warmth of the Mediterranean.

Italian Summer Dinner Menu


The best part of planning an Italian Summer dinner party is deciding on your menu. Italian cuisine is built around a farm-to-table mentality. Plan your menu around what you can source from your garden or from local/regional farmers to ensure you have the highest quality ingredients. For anything you can’t purchase locally, supplement with quality ingredients from Italy, like our Ancient Grain Pastas or Original Passata


Welcome your guests with a light antipasti platter adorned with your favorite cured meats, a cheese or two, some olives, fresh bread, and a dipping bowl of beautiful olive oil. Start with a cold fresh Gazpacho soup to ignite everyone's palates. As you move into your main course, remember that the convivial and relaxed elegance of an Italian family dinner comes from a table laden with delicious dishes. Some great options include a stone fruit & prosciutto salad, zucchini bucatini, rigatoni with mint pea sauce, and grilled swordfish. And then for dessert, when everyone’s groaning with happily filled bellies, break out fresh lemon granita served with biscotti cookies. They’ll inevitably find extra room. 

Aperol Spritz


Now for the part we’ve all been waiting for: what to drink. The drink that went viral in 2022 and continues to be a favorite, the Aperol Spritz is a classic for a reason. If you’ve simply had too much of the spritzy favorite, start your night with a refreshing Sicilian Margarita or a retro Amaretto drink that will bring you straight to the 1970s. As you sit down for dinner, a cold savory Sicilian Frappato will pair very nicely with the gazpacho and any lighter fresh salads you’ve prepared. For your main course, we recommend adding a bottle of Dolcetto from Piedmont as it will pair with almost anything.  And for dessert, pull out an amaretto on the rocks, or limoncello for the true citrus lovers.



previous post next post

Be the first to comment

All comments are moderated before being published