This Food Network video titled How to Eat Italian Bringing You A Taste of True Italian Cuisine discusses what to expect at an Italian restaurant when dining out. Each part of Italy specializes in traditional dishes: Silican, Tuscan, Roman, or Venetian. Most Italian restaurants have five courses or more. They are appetizers, soup or salad, first course, 2nd, and dessert.
This will vary from Italian restaurant to restaurant.
You will start with an appetizer, often a light dish, to start the meal. They may serve your bread with olive oil to dip and balsamic vinegar to start. Light appetizers or starters can be caponata on bread or white bean puree on bread. Soup or salad may be served next before the first course. Popular soups and salads are caprese salad, antipasto, minestrone, or pasta fagioli.
The first course will be a pasta dish with a tomato or cream-based sauce. The pasta served can be a variety of types: spaghetti, noodles, penne, cavatelli, or rigatoni. Your second course after the pasta will be a protein dish: chicken, veal, steak, pork, or even fish. It is often served with potatoes and vegetables. The last course is an Italian dessert served with strong coffee to end the meal. Popular desserts are gelato, tartufo, cannoli, and coffee drinks: espresso and cappuccino.