Entertaining : Italian Themed Dinner Party Ideas

host an Italian style dinner party

Today I’m dreaming of Italy and Italian food! This is my Italian themed dinner party, and it’s all about the tables! A few days ago I shared my tiramisu-chocolate trifle recipe, and you’ll see it below, served for dessert.

Using items from World Market, plus things I have on hand, I created an easy and inviting table setting perfect for hosting a casual pasta dinner for friends. Next, I used a vintage ironing board I just picked up while thrifting {you may have seen on Instagram} to serve as a Bruschetta bar, and finally a small bench held dessert and wine.

Check out all the ideas below…

 Italian style dinner party  Italian style dinner party  Italian style dinner party  Italian style dinner party

Setting the Table:

  • I’ve always been into simple but chic table settings, and it doesn’t get much easier than this. For a centerpiece, I used smaller scale apothecary jars and filled them with dry pasta found at WM. I chose the most interesting shapes and colors for more eye appeal and I love the result. A small flower arrangement in Earthy colors completes the look.
  • I didn’t think it necessary to cover the table in a tablecloth for this dinner. Rattan chargers add monochromatic texture against the table, while a collection of mismatched napkins in golden hues add color to the white dishes.
  • I’ve been obsessed with these carafes with the ball topper for a while. I bought 2 sizes and used the smaller one for lemon-basil water. Just slice a lemon and add a bunch of basil leaves {rub them in the palm of your hands first to “bruise” them and release their flavor}.
  • I added my vintage amber water tumblers to the setting for more color. Can I tell you how much I love these!

Bruschetta Bar bruschetta bar bruschetta bar  Italian style dinner partyItalian style dinner party dessert Italian style dinner party dessert Italian style dinner party dessert Italian style dinner party dessert

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Food Tables:

  • I have to talk about this vintage ironing board. I found it for $25 {on sale from $50} on a recent hunt, and I couldn’t wait to use it as a table. I set up a Bruschetta Bar using toppings I found at World Market. I also got the prosciutto at WM, and just added cheese and bread to complete the appetizer display.
  • Dessert and wine are placed on a small bench. I used the large wine decanter here – can you believe that’s a whole bottle of wine inside?! I bought a couple of bottles of Italian Red from World Market’s wine section {one of my favorite areas in the store – duh}.
  • I created individual Tiramisu-Chocolate Trifles for dessert, using items from the WM gourmet section. This recipe is sensational – I encourage you to give it a try!
  • Finally, a stack of biscotti is served up under a wire cloche.

I hope you notice that for this Italian dinner party I didn’t use anything that screams “Italy” like checkerboard tablecloth or red, white, & green flag references. I just wanted it to have an Italian “feel” through the food and wine, and subtle touches.

I did add a sketch of the Trevi Fountain that I have from our trip to Rome {many years ago, before kids}. Earth toned pottery pieces would also be nice to use if you have it.

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  1. candice says

    Gosh Chris this is amazing, I love so many of the elements, the wire cloche, the carafes, the ironing table, the small stool for the bruschetta toppings and the bowl for the bread. So beautiful

  2. Teresa says

    Where did you get the chalkboard on the stand? We are searching for them for an upcoming ladies event to go on each table. Appreciate so much information on it. The tiramisu trifles I will have to try. My fav dessert.

  3. Darlene says

    I’ve always wanted to host and “Italian” themed party and this has so inspired me! Love, love the ironing board idea. So creative. Just wondering if you handed out any guest favours or what you might think would be a good idea for one??

  4. says

    I love the wonderful pasta shapes and colors for the table decorations. It’s a great way to start an Italian festa, because it get’s right to the core of this Mediterranean staple. The ironing board, was an inspired choice for displaying my favorite part of an Italian meal…the dessert. The chocolate coated biscotti are always a great after dinner treat, but the tiramisu is leaving me craving. So much so I now have to send my husband to the Italian deli in the next town over. Great pics!

  5. Brenda says

    Love the decanters. Where did you purchase the carafe you have the lemon basil water in?