What happened to Lei and Loro?
When I learned Italian at school (OK, it was a while ago), we were taught that it was disrespectful to use tu to anyone other than friends, family, children and animals. Instead, we were taught to use Lei and Loro (capital L) and the third person of the verb. The construction is similar to the very formal English construction of "Would Sir like to...". I have almost finished the English to Italian tree and have not yet found any mention of this usage. Has it fallen out of use? I am off to Italy in a couple of weeks and don't want to offend anyone by being too personal!