Italian Party Theme Ideas

Fun And Fabulous Italian Party Theme Ideas
To Help You Create A Rustic Italian Cuisine!

If you are considering international themed parties, you might want to consider an Italian themed party. This theme not only makes for an excellent party, but it also works great if you are hosting an adult birthday party. When you think of this theme it brings to mind visions of old world Italy, delicious aromas and a festive time with friends and family.

Whether you are able to hold your party outdoors or indoors, you can decorate the area to make it feel like everyone has just stepped into another world, whisking your guests away for a few hours of fun, great flavorful food, along with a warm and inviting party atmosphere.

Of course, you will want to start planning for your Italian themed party well in advance. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some excellent ideas that you can use for invitations, decorations, party food, games, favors, and more. With these tips and ideas, you will be able to plan a party that exudes the spirit of Italy, it's majestic countryside, and the wonderful feeling that love is in the air. For months you will hear everyone raving about the night they went to Italy.

Come up with the guest list for the party and then you will definitely want to choose great invitations that go along with your Italian party theme. The invitations you choose should give guests a little glimpse into your party. While you can find pre-made invitations that will complement your Italian theme, it’s fun to make your own if you have the time. If you’re going to go with DIY invitations, here are a few fun ideas.

PASSPORT INVITATIONS - To make passport invitations you'll want to use cardstock and make the invites look like passports, including the picture of each guest on the passport. Make sure you add a special Visa for Italy, letting them know they will be traveling to Italy for this party. Include party invitations inside the passport and require them to show their passport to “travel” to the party when they arrive.

ITALIAN FLAG INVITES - Another fun idea for handmade invitations is to make invitations that look like the Italian flag. Start with a piece of cardstock as a base, folded into the shape of a card. Then, add an Italian flag to the front of the card or use colored paper to make the entire front of the card look like an Italian flag. You can add in the party details inside of the card.

POSTCARD INVITES - Of course, there are many other fun and exciting DIY invitation ideas to use for an Italian themed party. You can use photos of Italy and make them into postcard invitations.

WINE LABEL INVITES - Even copies of a lovely Italian wine label will make lovely party invitations that guests will appreciate.

When attending parties, it’s always nice to have your guests dress up in costumes. It adds to the theme and helps people to get into the spirit of things. For the Italian themed party, have your guests show up in traditional Italian costumes. Women often wore lovely embroidered, colorful skirts over blouses or chemises that were lightweight. Beautiful bodices and dresses were often worn to festivals and were usually beautifully embroidered and in bright, vibrant colors.

Men often wore dark shirts and simple pants that included metal buttons and embroidery on the shirts. Simply mention in your invitations that guests should arrive in traditional Italian dress and then allow them to do some research and come up with their own costume ideas.


When you begin decorating for the Italian party theme, start off with a color palette that includes red, green and white, since these are the colors used in the Italian flag.
  • Hang a sign on the front door that says "Benvenuti" which means welcome in Italian.

  • It’s nice to have an Italian flag or two around the party area to add to the décor.

  • Use streamers of these colors, intertwined together to decorate doorways, tables and other areas. Accent the corners with bouquets of balloons in these same colors.

  • Cover the walls with posters depicting famous Italian landmarks.

  • Mimic Italian restaurants by posting the menu for the evening on a large chalkboard at the dining area.

  • Use red and white checkered tablecloths to cover the tables, which will provide a nice Italian bistro look to the tables.

  • Grapes can be used in various places to add to the decorations. You can use real grapes or fake ones displayed in a decorative bowl or basket.

  • Cruets of flavored olive oil, plates of olives and bouquets of fresh herbs can be used for beautiful decorations as well.

  • Fill glass jars with various colored and shaped pastas. Then tie red and green raffia around the center of the jars to add an accent of color.

  • If you’ll be holding the party outdoors, it’s nice to string up some plain white lights to help set the mood as well.


You'll want to be sure to add some games and activities as they will definitely add to your festive atmosphere. If at all possible, you’ll want some options that go with the Italian themed party. Here are a few ideas to help get your Italian creative juices flowing:

PIZZA-MAKING - One fun activity is to allow your guests to make their own pizza. You can start this activity when guests arrive so the pizzas can cook while you’re involved in other activities. Start with a nice pizza crust and have bowls of pizza sauce and shredded cheese. Other great toppings to have on hand for them to use include the following:

- Ham - Bacon

- Green peppers - Feta cheese

- Olives - Baby shrimp

- Pepperoni - Sliced tomatoes

- Fresh mushrooms - Sausage

- Onions - Prosciutto

- Anchovies - Pineapple

OLIVE TASTING - Another great activity is to have an olive tasting, which is definitely an authentic activity for your Italian party. Include a variety of great Italian olives, such as Gaeta, Liguria, castelvetrano, taggiasca, ponentine and cerignola.

ITALIAN WORD GAME - You may also want to have an Italian word game. Print out a list of Italian sayings and words in one column and their English translation in another column--all mixed up of course. Have guests try to match the words or sayings to their English translation. The one to get the most right will win a prize.

BOCCE - Bocce ball which is also known as lawn bowling is a traditional game in Italy. It's a great way for people to mingle and get to know one another while enjoying a bit of friendly competition.

TARANTELLA - Time to kick up your heels. Put on some Italian folk music and teach your guests how to do the lively dance known as tarantella.


Of course, Italy is known for many amazing, tasty dishes, so you’ll want to serve up incredible food to go with your Italian party theme. If you decide to use the build your own pizza activity, this will take care of part of the food for the party.

ITALIAN APPETIZER IDEAS - Antipasto can be served up which is a great appetizer consisting of chilled artichoke hearts, grilled and chilled asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, and pepperoni. Grind together tomatoes and pesto and spread it onto mini sliced baguettes. You can also provide some fresh virgin olive oil for dipping the baguettes.

ITALIAN MAIN DISH IDEAS - A variety of wonderful main dishes will definitely work well with your Italian theme, such as lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, manicotti, veal parmesan and more. Fresh tomatoes with basil are great on the side and tasty garlic bread is sure to be appreciated.

DRINK IDEAS - A variety of tasty drink ideas can be served up at your party. Things like cappuccino, latte and espresso are excellent options and sure to be a hit with your guests. Chilled coffee drinks are also great drink ideas to serve for your party. Sparkling grape juice makes a festive choice that will be enjoyed by guests as well.

It’s a great idea to make sure the birthday cake goes along with the Italian party theme as well.

ITALIAN FLAG CAKE - One easy idea that you can make yourself is to bake a sheet cake and then decorate it to look like the Italian flag.

GRAPE-FEATURED CAKE - Another beautiful idea is to decorate a round cake or a sheet cake with grapes and grape vines, since they are so popular in Italy.

TIRAMISU - Although this is not a traditional birthday cake, once the birthday person tastes this wonderful yummy Italian dessert, I'm sure they'll be very forgiving of not having a typical cake. It basically consists of custard, lady fingers soaked in espresso, whipped cream, and accented with shavings of chocolate.

Regardless of which cake you choose just be sure to serve up a nice scoop of Italian gelato which is Italy's version of ice cream.


Once the party is over, make sure you carry on the theme by sending guests home with great favors that go with your Italian party theme. A wonderful favor idea is to send each guest home with their own cruet of flavored olive oil. Specialty dried Italian pasta also makes for a wonderful favor idea too. Espresso cups with ground espresso packages are sure to please, as are mini pots of herbs, such as basil, oregano or thyme. Boxes of mini cannoli are sure to tempt guests' taste buds and send them home happy too.

YOUR Favorite Italian Party Theme Ideas, Cakes & Costumes

Do you have some favorite Italian party theme ideas, cakes and costumes? Do tell! Please share all your party tips and ideas for invitations, decorations, games, etc., along with your Italian party cakes and costumes.

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