Ospitalità italiana

Message from the Ambassador of Italy in Wellington


Dear Restaurateurs,

Italian restaurants around the world are recognized as very special “ambassadors” of the Italian culture. “Ospitalità Italiana” Seal was purposely created to protect Italian heritage, and to endorse restaurants and restaurateurs who strive to promote it. The seal aims to contribute to the success of authentic “Made in Italy” brands, products and cuisine and to separate these from “Italian-sounding” imitations. The seal is awarded under strict evaluation processes and it guarantees the recipients prestige and visibility. Certified restaurants become part of an international network and by having “Ospitalità Italiana” seal on display, customers know that they will receive a quality Italian culinary experience.

The Italian cuisine stems from the ancient historical traditions from Italian society, with a natural emphasis on human connection and lifestyle. Over time, Italian food has developed into an unmistakable symbol of hospitality and welcome. As a result, Mediterranean diet, that clearly cannot leave aside Italian tradition, was included in 2010 in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Without refusing a balanced attempt to modernize it, it’s the Italian Government’s aim to preserve the precious and rich history, distinct quality and undisputed authenticity of Italian cuisine.

So, “Ospitalita Italiana – Italian Hospitality” Seal was established and launched in Italy in 1997 by Unioncamere (Union of Italian Chambers), Assocamerestero (Union of Chambers Abroad) and ISNART (Istituto Nazionale Richerche Turistiche), and now implemented in New Zealand by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc. (ICCNZ).

I invite all potential recipients to adhere to the ICCNZ programme, and… vinca il migliore!

Carmelo Barbarello
Ambassador of Italy,


Ospitalita Italiana

The primary objectives are:

  • develop and promote the traditions of the Italian cuisine,
  • expand the Italian food and wine sector on a global scale,
  • nurture and enhance the image of Italian restaurants that uphold and respect the high quality and standards that are synonymous with Italian cuisine and hospitality abroad;
  • tackle the growing issue of restaurants “Italian Names” – whereby restaurants with seemingly Italian names are assumed, sometimes wrongly, to be serve high quality Italian food. The Ospitalita Italiana project will help to correctly recognize and award the real Italian restaurants by evaluating and assessing the ingredients and cooking style they use.
  • create an international network around which events can be organized to promote Italian products of the highest quality;
  • create new opportunities and events to promote Italian restaurants and Marchio Ospitalità Italiana worldwide.

Synonymous with Italian cuisine is excellence, quality and hospitality and accompanied by close attention to detail that surpasses simple “eating”. Restaurants that embrace the tradition of culinary excellence are considered genuine “Ambassadors of the ‘Italian palate’, and Italy’s rich culture.

As at November 2014, more than 1600 restaurants have been certified, spread across 45 different countries, including cities like New York, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Dubai to name just a few, that have obtained a label assuring good Italian quality.

‘Ospitalita Italiana’ is a complimentary, voluntary and yearly renewable certification process which highlights the importance of the quality and authenticity of Italian Restaurants around the world.

The Italian Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc. support and promotes the Italian Hospitality Seal ‘Ospitalita Italiana’ and the spirit of authenticity and tradition that it represents. The Chamber has and continues to be, a promoter of the “Made in Italy’ brand and products. With these authentic products, chefs who are trained in the art of traditional Italian cuisine are able to create tastes and flavours reminiscent of their land of origin from anywhere in the world.

targa ospitalita italiana ospitalita italiana plaque

Applications for the ‘Ospitalita Italiana’ Italian Hospitality – Italian Restaurants in the World – 1st Edition New Zealand are now being accepted.

Restaurateurs that believe they qualify for consideration of this quality seal can submit their entries by contacting the Italian Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand. Entries are closed for this year, but you can apply for next year by sending your entry by March 31st 2018.

For further information, please contact

Ospitalita Italiana Desk

Italian Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc.

Email: info@iccnz.com with subject line Ospitalita Italiana

Applying for Certification

Compulsory requirements

  • At least 51% of the dishes and recipes on the menu must be Italian;
  • At least 30% of the wines on the wine list must be DOP;
  • Extra virgin olive oil must be available;
  • The restaurant should have at least one person working in the kitchen with proven experience/proficiency in Italian cuisine;
  • The restaurant must employ at least one person with the ability to interact with clients in ltalian;


Advantageous requirements

The restaurant should embody typical Italian-inspired elements;
The menu should be written in/translated to correct Italian;
The setting and décor should be Italian-inspired;
The restaurant should primarily use DOP and IGP products;
The restaurant should actively promote Italian products and culture;

Potential restaurants who possess the above qualifications and who are keen to partake in this invaluable experience are invited to proceed with the candidacy process.

Procedures to Obtain Certification



Interested restaurants may apply to be considered for participation in this initiative, by sending the completed and signed application form to the Italian Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc. (Ref: Scheda Adesione eng 2013 doc/Restaurant Application Form) and forward to info@iccnz.com Subject Line: Ospitalita Italiana by 31st March 2018.

You can download all the relevant documents here:

Admission and Visit

ICCNZ reviews application and arranges a visit to the restaurant to complete an evaluation checklist. ICCNZ verifies all documentation and forwards the application to the external evaluation committee in Italy. During the visit, the evaluation checklist is completed, accompanied with photographs, pdf files of menus, wine lists, recipes etc., Chef’s CV and statements.


The candidates are considered by the external Evaluation Committee, based on prior compliance with the requisites for the certification.


The candidate restaurants are notified of the outcomes of the assessment by the Evaluating Committee. In the communication, where necessary, areas for improvement or changes to be implemented are outlined in a personalised manner.


In the start-up phase of the initiative, on the occasion of awarding certificates to restaurants, window stickers and plaques, ICCNZ will organise a press conference/launch event with the participation of local and national journalists. At the same event, the restaurants will enjoy further promotional activities, such as: a press conference in Italy for the launch of the initiative by video-conference with the principal cities of the continent, press conferences abroad to launch the initiative, internet publishing, mobile phone, applications for dissemination and on social networks, admission to the award-giving event of the “Italian Hospitality, Italian Restaurants around the World” that awards a prize to the structures most voted by customers. An awards event for certified New Zealand restaurants is planned to announce the recipients and present the plaques. Other promotional opportunities to be developed – Ospitalita Italiana special menu offer from certified restaurants, promotion on restaurants own website and Facebook pages.

Project Organisation

The governing body, chaired by Unioncamere coordinates the “Ospitalita Italiana - Italian Hospitality, Italian Restaurants in the World” project. It is comprised of representatives from ministries, associations and agencies as well as the President of the Evaluating Committee. This Coordinating Committee is responsible for defining and continuously updating the 10 basic standards of good Italian Hospitality. The Evaluating Committee, whose Chairman is appointed by the Coordinating Committee, is the technical body involved in the scrutiny of the project and consists of a number of experts from major institutions and organisations. This technical body is responsible for assessing potential candidates in the lead up to the approval of the ’Ospitalita Italiana’ Italian Hospitality Seal.

The Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad (CCIE) and the Unioncamere and Assocamerestero aim to publicise this initiative and provide restaurateurs with the necessary information about the Italian Hospitality Seal and criteria for application. The Secretary General of the CCIE will inspect periodically that the standards of the “Italian Seal” are upheld by recipient restaurants. Technical support and secretarial assistance is provided by ISNART.


Chef's Application Form (Word format)

Restaurant Application Form (Word format)

Italian DOP and IPG products

Disciplinare tecnico per il rilascio del marchio “ospitalità italiana, ristoranti italiani nel mondo”

Technical specification for the release of the quality label “italian hospitality, italian restaurants in the world”

Regolamento per il rilascio del marchio “ospitalità italiana, ristoranti italiani nel mondo”

Regulation for the issue of the label “Italian hospitality, Italian restaurants in the world”