Italian Family Reunion: How to Plan the Perfect Menu 

Preparing for an upcoming Italian family reunion can be very tedious and tiring—especially when it comes to finding the apt venue, sending out invitations, and even more with the preparation of food! As people would usually say, food is central to any gathering.

Hence, it is very important and crucial to plan for the perfect menu, especially when you are hosting an Italian Family Reunion.

Planning for that perfect Italian menu is very rewarding in many ways while enabling you actually to save time and money when done rightly. 

The Italian Family Reunion

In Italy, reunions are usually called “risvegli” which literally translates to “waking up.” And by golly it’s true! When Italians are reunited with loved ones they fall into each other’s arms in big hugs. They’re excited and overjoyed to see each other again.

There are no negative emotions or words exchanged. The Italian family reunion is a celebration of love, laughter, and camaraderie.

The Rules of the Italian Family Reunion

So what’s it like to attend an Italian family reunion? How do you begin one? What follows is our take on how this can be accomplished:

Be authentic
You don’t have to speak perfect Italian to be invited – you must be authentic in your expression and expression of affection.  Your body language will tell more about you than your words can. If you can say something in Italian great! If not, just get involved and be present. Your actions will speak louder than your words anyway.

Be open
Sometimes people have to come to terms with getting along with other family members they’ve had issues with in the past. Italian reunions are a wonderful opportunity to open up and share your “heart” with one another. Don’t hold back those feelings!

Be engaged
Engage your senses and get as involved as possible in the reunion. This can be done by opening up your heart and listening to the other person, being playful, and enjoying the conversation. Italians are very vocal and love to talk. They’re very expressive and oftentimes speak with their hands. Be engaged in the expression; enjoy it for what it is!

Be positive
If this is your first time attending an Italian family reunion, try not to worry about what you’re going to do or say! Just relax, enjoy yourself, be authentic and engage with others as much as possible.

Be there
The Italian way of reuniting is to be present. If you can’t make it to a reunion, try to check in with the family member you want to see and get together for some good old-fashioned pen pals.

Be passionate
Italians love their food! They’re passionate about dolci (pastries), wine, pasta, and Italian cuisine! They love sharing their food culture with others and are deeply passionate about the cuisine they serve.

Make an Effort to Paint the Right Atmosphere

italian family reunion

When you envision a goal, the very first step is committing yourself to it. This is also true in planning for an Italian Family Reunion and consequently planning the perfect menu.

At this point, you should be asking yourself what kind of reunion it would be and determine the overall “feel” of it. It could be a solemn and formal kind of reunion, or a happy, outdoors one.

Knowing what the reunion would be is essential since the food will actually depend on it. Think whether you are aiming for organizing a wild party or holding a quiet thanksgiving dinner —your Italian family reunion could be somewhere in between, or close to one of those extremes. 

Make a Strategic Shopping List 

woman holding a shopping list in a supermarket, The proud Italian

By now, you may have already chosen what food is apt for that reunion atmosphere you decided to achieve. Your menu may have included playful baguette strips with a ricotta-based sauce, or the classic spaghetti meatballs, paired with the finest wines.

Whatever the Italian menu is, making a shopping list and preparing it strategically can make a whole lot of a difference in time and effort savings.

List the ingredients (by type or category) on a sheet of paper, and decide on the best day or the most convenient store to do the shopping.  It also helps if you know the layout of the shopping mall, and even when that grocery mall hauls fresh vegetables or meat, so you can keep things a lot tastier.

Evaluate Your Menu 

italian food the proud italian

When all is set and done, and your family has consumed the sumptuous meal you have prepared for them, don’t forget to let them critique it. This actually helps you to make an even better menu for the next family reunion.

On the other hand, it also lessens menu planning when the need arises again because of your experience, coupled with guided evaluation and feedbacks. When you plan for that next perfect Italian menu, you will rest assured that it will be much better.

All in all, think straight, be organized and strategic, and don’t forget to have fun! It’s a family reunion, after all. 🙂