Italian Dining Tables – How Many Can I Seat?

One of most common questions we get from clients searching for the perfect Italian dining table concerns space management — for their dining room, or their guests — typically taking the form either of

How large a table do I need to seat __ people?


How large a table can I fit in my dining room of ___ size?

Starting with the easier of those two questions, at a very minimum we advise clients that they should allow 3′ (92cm) behind each chair (from the wall, a corridor, a buffet, etc.) to give every one of their guests room to get in and out of their chairs. That means in a 16′ x 12′ dining room, there would be room for a dining table that’s at most 120″ x 48″w, with room left to accommodate a buffet/sideboard that’s 2′ deep (see illustration below).

On the question of how large a table is needed to seat a given number of people (especially frequently asked of us by clients with larger requirements — sometimes up to 18-20 people or more), we advise our clients to budget 24″ per seat. Using our example above, that means we can fit 5 chairs along each side and one at each and for total seating for 12 (on a 120″ table).

ligning that calculation to the standard metric sizes more typical of Italian dining tables yields the following:

  • To seat 8: 3 chairs/side should fit at 180cm table, but nearest standard size is usually 200cm (79″)
  • To seat 10: 4 chairs/side should fit at 240cm table, but nearest standard size is usually 250cm (98″)
  • To seat 12: 5 chairs/side should fit at 300cm table (118″)
  • To seat 14: 6 chairs/side would fit at 360 table, but nearest standard size is usually 400cm (158″)
  • To seat 16, 18, 20 or more: these are all custom sizes, and can easily be made to client specifications and based on available space

Of course these examples are designed around the typical Italian dining chair sizes that we sell (and would need to be adjusted to accommodate fewer larger chairs, if appropriate).