"Women should be served first", you would answer. Is it correct? Generally speaking, yes, but this is not always the case. How do you behave in the presence of guests or important people? Here are the guidelines to follow.

General rule

The general rule is that the older woman is served first, strictly from the right, and then continues clockwise. Then they serve men, following the same rule.


Priority should always be given to people who are celebrated, regardless of gender.


In the presence of guests, they must be served first but respecting the general rule. 

The order then becomes:

  1. celebrated woman
  2. celebrated
  3. guest woman
  4. older woman
  5. clockwise women
  6. host woman
  7. guest man
  8. older man
  9. clockwise men in senso orario
  10. host man

Official ceremonies

In case of official ceremonies the rules change. The clergy and authoritative people take precedence over women (but not over guests and celebrated people).

The rigorous ceremonial of state imposes a precise order of precedence: Papa, Cardinals, Heads of State, Presidents of the Chamber and the Senate, President of the Council of Ministers, Ministers, Ambassadors, Party Secretaries and so on ...