Mangia! Mangia! Italian Party
When Italians want you to eat, they say, “Mangia!” That means eat until you can eat no longer. And that’s the focus of an Italian Party. From antipasti to pasta, from vino to grappa, enjoy a family-style meal from the land of art, architecture and abbondanza!
- Make small Italian paper flags, colored red, white and green, and attach them to a toothpick or swizzle stick. Add a few tiny macaroni noodles to the envelope and mail.
- Tie party details to biscotti using red, white and green ribbon and mail in padded envelope.
- Mail Italian art reproduction postcards or travel brochures featuring Italy, with party details added. Vestiti!
Ask your guests dress up for the occasion:
- Come in Italian colors – red, white, and green.
- Dress as a Venetian gondolier.
- Wear Venetian masks and make it a costume party.
- Host a Toga party and wear sheets! Toga! Toga! Toga Decorazione!
- Enhance the esthetics of the party site with the sights and sounds of Italy:
- Hang red, white and green streamers, balloons, flags and banners from the ceiling and walls.
- Put up travel posters featuring Rome, Florence and Venice.
- Buy some art reproductions by DaVinci and other Italian artists, and hang them on the walls. Cut out frames from large sheets of poster board.
- Make a gondola by cutting out a large appliance box. Shape it with duct tape, paint it, add the oars, and set in the middle of the room. Fill it with balloons, or loaves of bread and different varieties of dried pasta. If you prefer, cut out a gondola shape from construction paper, and tape to wall with water setting also made from construction paper.
- Cover the tables with red and white checked tablecloths and Italian flags.
- Set out Chianti bottles. Insert candles into opening, light them and drip the wax down the sides.
- In the background, play Italian operas, such as “The Barber of Seville,” or tenors such as Pavarotti or Bocelli. Divertimento!
- Have fun with some games and activities, Italian style.
- Play “Speak Italian?” Write down some common Italian phrases and see if the players can figure out what they mean. Turn it into a game of charades by dividing into groups and acting out the translations of the phrases.
- Test your guests on their “Italian Trivia.” Write down some facts about Italy, turn them into questions, and have a Trivia Bee.
- Put on a lip-sync mini-opera using “The Barber of Seville,” and see how the guests perform the songs. Videotape the performances and play them back for a good laugh.
- Hold a bocce tournament on your lawn. Mangia! Mangia!
Don’t forget the most important part of the party – Italian food!
- Serve lotsa pasta! Have a pasta buffet where guests can pick and choose their own pastas and sauces.
- Begin the meal with plates of antipasti. Ask each guest to bring one contribution to the platter, such as olives, cheese or meats, then spread them out on the table and snack away.
- Why not serve American’s favorite Italian food – Pizza! You can make pizzas with a variety of toppings and offer slices throughout the evening.
- Make a big green salad tossed with Italian dressing.
- Pour Italian wines and Italian sodas.
- For dessert, it’s got to be gelato, the ice cream specialty of Italy.
- Brew up cappuccinos, espressos, and lattes to go with the gelato.
- End the evening with a shot of grappa to help digest the meal! Arrivederci!
Say goodbye in Italian with a special gift:
- Give the guests inexpensive colanders filled with dry pasta.
- Hand out opera or tenor CDs.
- Offer pasta cookbooks to your guests so they can keep the theme alive at home.
- Give them fancy gourmet Italian sauces.
- Pass out bottles of Italian wines.