“Pagare alla romana” the meaning
“Pagare alla romana” language: meaning according to the Great Dictionary of the Italian Language
The literal meaning of “Pagare alla romanat” or “fare alla romana” is widely known, or “equally sharing a common expense among friends” which usually relates to a lunch or dinner.
The typical expression could refer to the ancient habit of the so-called “Romanata” or that “convivial meeting where each of the diners pays a share of the total expenditure”.
By extrapolating, however, only the phrase “Roman”, the meaning could be traced back to the saying used by various nineteenth-century authors to define a course “shared by various diners”.
Pagare alla romana: meaning according to tradition
The meaning of “pagare alla romana” could also come from other customs that are not confirmed in the written tradition and would therefore be due to habits that have been handed down orally.
Among these, that of the old Roman trattorias that for reasons of practicality, used to pay the bill by dividing it equally by the number of people who were at the table.
A habit, this, which would be strengthened in the nineteenth century and on the occasion of the Jubilee, when the Capitoline hosts preferred to practice fixed-price menus and thus divide the bill by the number of pilgrims and not specifying the individual courses served.