Rehearsal Dinner Menu: How To Surprise Your Guests With The Abruzzo Cuisine

A dish of appetizers for a rehearsal dinner menu in Abruzzo

Rehearsal Dinner Menu: How To Surprise Your Guests With The Abruzzo Cuisine

Posted by Chiara in Abruzzo, Destination Weddings 14 Dic 2016

The rehearsal dinner for a wedding in Abruzzo

You are planning your destination wedding in Italy in every tiny detail and you feel like everything is perfectly under control, but nonetheless you have the unpleasant sensation that something’s still missing… but what?

Then you realise, at last: your wedding day won’t be the only event that will take place, there should be another one before the wedding: the rehearsal dinner!

Gosh! Where will you have it? In the same venue of the wedding reception? What style will you choose? And then, what will be the rehearsal dinner menu, what you and your guests will be eating?

And by the way, do Italians have rehearsal dinners before their wedding day?

I give you the answer: no, in Italy we have neither rehearsals nor rehearsal dinners (I explain this and other peculiarities of Italian weddings in my free manual The Little Guide To Weddings In Italy), but this doesn’t mean that you can’ have them both for your destination wedding in my beautiful Abruzzo!

About the restaurant, there are so many choices, depending on the precise location of your wedding. If you and your guests are all in the same hotel, you can have it there, but you can also opt for another restaurant, to have a rehearsal dinner menu that is different from the other meals or to have a complete change of style.

It can actually be a good idea to opt for a dinner that is completely different from what has been chosen for the wedding reception, in terms of venue, style, and menu. And it’s ok to have an informal and relaxed rehearsal dinner: after all, it’s an occasion to spend some time together with all your dearest ones right before the big day, that is likely to be more elegant and formal.


Abruzzo cuisine for your rehearsal dinner menu

That’s why today I want to propose you some dishes for a very original and unexpected rehearsal dinner menu, characterised by the recipes of the traditional cuisine of Abruzzo. Traditional but also very contemporary, because these are dishes that we always love very much here in Abruzzo, that we keep on cooking and eating (and very proudly too, to be honest!!!).

These dishes might seem a bit rustic, simple and poor, but that’s because of the nature of Abruzzo traditional cuisine. These are the dishes of simple and poor people (fishermen along the coast, farmers in the hillside, shepherds in the mountains), who used the ingredients deriving from their territory and their economical activities. But they have been able to combine those simple ingredients to create extraordinarily tasty recipes (so now we are not only proud, but extremely grateful, too!).

Some of the traditional recipes are typical of some particular moments of the year or of some festivities, such as Christmas and Easter, but the ones I am about to talk you about are perfect in every period and in every season, they are the dishes we often choose when we want to share a special dinner with family and friends (so they are perfect for the rehearsal dinner menu, aren’t they?).


Appetizers: bruschette

There are many different things you can have as appetizers here in Abruzzo, but my favourite ones are bruschette, slices of toasted bread, seasoned in many ways: ham and other cured meats, tomato, grilled vegetables, and some extravirgin olive oil, of course!


bruschette for a rehearsal dinner menu

Bruschette with fresh tomato



Pasta: anellini alla pecorara

In Abruzzo there is a wide tradition of home-made pasta and of pasta recipes. This is one of the most typical and common: ring-shaped pasta (anellini actually means “little rings”) with a sauce made with tomato, aubergines, courgettes and peppers, and then sprinkled with ricotta cheese. Very very savoury!


pecorara pasta for a rehearsal dinner menu

A dish of pasta alla pecorara



Meat: arrosticini

The most well-known dish of Abruzzo, for sure!

They are lamb skewers that must be prepared following strict rules: they must be roasted on the special long grill (not other kinds of grill!), they must be accompanied by slices of bread with olive oil and they must be eaten directly from the skewers, not with the fork!


arrosticini for an abruzzese rehearsal dinner menu

The renowned arrosticini



Sweets: parrozzo and ferratelle

Talking about sweets, the list could be very long! But those I prefer are these two: parrozzo and ferratelle.

Parrozzo is a cake typical of my city, Pescara. It is a cupola-shaped cake made with almonds and covered with chocolate: delicious! And it is one of the few sweets whose name was chosen by a famous poet and writer: Gabriele D’Annunzio, who was born in Pescara.

Ferratelle are also called neole or pizzelle according to the geographical area (I call them neole, for example). They are a sort of waffles made with a special iron (in Italian ferro, hence the name ferratelle). They can be served as they are, or dusted with powdered sugar, or spread with nutella or jam, especially the jam of black grapes, that is another typical great product of Abruzzo.


parrozzo in a rehearsal dinner menu in Abruzzo

The typical parrozzo



I can tell you: knowing how delicious all these dishes are, I am starting to be a little hungry! And I’m sure that you’ll find them delicious, too! Have you ever tried one of them? Let me know in the comments!

The good news is that here in Abruzzo there are many typical restaurants where you can find these dishes, together with lovely venues and a friendly atmosphere!

And I can help you find the perfect one for you and plan together with you a rehearsal dinner that combines your wedding tradition with the food traditions of Abruzzo! Definitely a perfect match!

Contact me to book a complimentary Skype call: we will find the right solution together!


Lots of love,




Cover photo: Appetizers in Abruzzo




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