So, I've learned a couple of valuable lessons while in Italy. Among those lessons are a list of things that you should never say no to. So far the list isn't very long but here it is. Note: The list is not in order of importance.
#1. If you are at a food table with a group and they offer you wine I am telling you the best thing to do is to say yes. Unless you don't care about avoiding the onslaught of wonder and concern. I made the mistake of declining earlier this evening. Apparently no matter how many times you've accepted wine in the past it is better still to accept again.
#2. When offered caffe? With caffe it is the same as wine... just accept the damn thing.
#3. Table Scraps... First lets define "table scrap". For me the table scrap is clearly the food that remains on a table after a meal and that no one wants to eat. I'm not sure yet but it appears to me that the people who are expected to finish up food still laying on the table after a meal are the young. There seems to be a certain amount of hospitable prodding that's done by the more wise Italian to get the young to eat up the scraps... This is a losing battle and so the young eat.
#4. Paying for food. Forget about it! You will not pay for food! One of the other ten more forcefully hospitable people in your company will be paying for the food. I still don't know how to handle this situation. Also, if you don't speak Italian you have no hope when it comes to this. Unless you're by yourself or with other non Italian folk... but that doesn't count.
Pretty much because of the level of hospitality that serves as a second nature to the Italian you're kind of screwed. Especially if you're an American.