what do Italians eat for breakfast

Morning in Italy: What Do Italians Eat for Breakfast?

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Have you ever wondered how the first meal of the day can reveal so much about a culture? 

As the world acknowledges Italy’s renowned cuisine, it’s no wonder that breakfast holds a significant spot in Italians’ eating habits. In fact, according to a study by Doxa, a staggering 99% of Italians embrace the beauty of breakfast each day. Now, compare this with findings from a Kellogg Company Survey, which revealed that a mere 34% of Americans begin their mornings with the same dedication. It’s a telling contrast that echoes the passion Italians pour into their culinary rituals.

In Italy, breakfast isn’t just a routine – it’s a heartfelt celebration of flavors, family, and the nation’s culinary pride. Imagine the sun’s gentle rays touching the cobblestone streets, mingling with the irresistible aroma of espresso. This is the essence of Italian mornings.

Whether you’re a cappuccino connoisseur or a croissant lover, join me on an appetizing tour of Italy’s beloved morning foods and rituals. You’ll learn about different pastries, the art of coffee ordering, and the subtle etiquette that brings Italian breakfasts to life. Beyond answering the question “what do Italians eat for breakfast?, we’ll uncover charming breakfast habits and contrasting regional traditions from North to South.

So grab yourself a cappuccino, and let’s immerse in the flavors and heritage of this treasured daily ritual. 

Andiamo.

(Let’s go)



Exploring Breakfast in Italian: Language & Grammar Insights

Interested in Italian breakfast? Well, you might also want to know how to talk about it, right? Don’t worry, I’ve got some basics to share that’ll help you chat about your morning munchies the Italian way. 

How to say breakfast in Italian?

That’s “colazione”.

To pronounce it right, read it like this: co-la-zio-ne, or listen to me saying it.

Colazione audio

Italian WordItalian SpellingPronunciation
Colazioneco-la-zio-nekoh-lah-tsyoh-neh

PS: the pronunciation is spelled as if read by an English speaker


Why is breakfast in Italy called Colazione?

Treccani explains that the word “colazione” comes from the Latin collatio-onis, which means bringing together. The meaning is when people come together around the table and eat together while conversing.

That’s a beautiful etymology for a word, and we can surely say the same concept applies to all meals in Italy.

What about the Verb: to have breakfast in Italian?

Unlike with the other meals, you can’t take “colazione” and form the verb from the noun. Instead, we need to use a verb plus the noun; this type of verb is called copulative.

The verb used in this case is “fare” + “colazione”. Fare translates to make but has the meaning of have, so “fare colazione” translates to have breakfast.

Let’s conjugate it in just the present tense to help you learn while keeping it simple.

Io faccio colazione (I have breakfast)

Tu fai colazione (You have breakfast – informal singular)

Lui/lei fa colazione (He/she has breakfast)

Noi facciamo colazione (We have breakfast)

Voi fate colazione (You have breakfast – plural/formal singular)

Loro fanno colazione (They have breakfast)



And now let’s look at a few examples.

1. Facciamo colazione! – Let’s have breakfast!

2. Facciamo colazione? – Shall we have breakfast?

3. Avete fatto colazione? – Did you (plural) have breakfast?

4. Mamma e papà hanno già fatto colazione. – Mom and dad have already had breakfast.

5. Vado a fare colazione. – I’m going to have breakfast.

6. Ti va di fare colazione? – Do you feel like having breakfast?

7. Fai fare colazione al bimbo. – Make the child have breakfast.

woman having an Italian style breakfast

Basic Breakfast Phrases in Italian

Next, have a look at these common ways to speak about breakfast. They will come in handy if you want to say more than just colazione.

Italian PhraseEnglish Translation
Prepara la tavola.Set up the table.
Prendi il latte.Go get the milk.
Mi passi i cornetti?Can you hand me the croissants?
Chi vuole dell’arancia spremuta?Who wants some orange juice?
La mamma ha fatto una crostata.Mom made a jam tart.
Hai comprato il pane?Did you buy the bread?
Vuoi la marmellata di fragole o albicocche?Do you want strawberry or apricot jam?
Papà è andato a prendere i cornetti.Dad went to pick up the croissants.
Che briosce abbiamo?What sponge cakes do we have?
Per colazione, oggi: yogurt, frutta e musli.Today, for breakfast: yogurt, fruit and muesli.
A me va il pane con burro e marmellata.I feel like having bread with butter and jam.
Io invece vorrei un cappuccino e cornetto.I’d like a cappuccino and croissant,
Per me, una fetta di torta della nonna.For me, a slice of grandma’s cake.
La torta è finita.The cake is finished.
La nonna ha portato i biscotti fatti in casa.Grandma brought homemade biscuits.
Andiamo al bar a fare colazione.Let’s go to the café for breakfast.
Hai preso il caffè?Did you have coffee?
Italian breakfast phrases to know


Italian Breakfast Words To Know

For you to speak about breakfast you’ll first need to learn some breakfast vocabulary in Italian, so here you go: the basic Italian words you need to know about breakfast, with the Italian spelling and pronunciation in a way that’s easy for you to read.

Italian WordPronunciationEnglish Translation
Lattelah-tehMilk
Caffèkah-feyCoffee
Espressoes-preh-sohEspresso
Cappuccinokah-poo-chee-noCappuccino
Caffè lattekah-fey lah-tehCoffee with milk
Latte macchiatokah-fey lah-tehLatte
Succo di fruttasook-koh dee froo-tahFruit juice
Arancia spremutaah-rahn-chah spreh-moo-tahOrange juice
Frullatofrool-lah-toMilkshake
Bicchierebee-kee-air-ehGlass
Tazzinataht-zee-nahCup
Cucchiainokoo-kee-ah-ee-noTeaspoon
Yogurtyo-guhrtYogurt
Cerealicheh-reh-ah-leeCereal
Muslimoo-sleeMuesli
Fruttafroo-tahFruit
Zuccherozoo-keh-rohSugar
Ciotolachee-oh-toh-lahBowl
Cucchiaiokoo-kee-ai-ohTablespoon
Tavolatah-voh-lahTable
Tovagliatoh-vah-lyahTable cloth
Tovagliolotoh-vah-lyoh-lohNapkin
Piattopee-ah-tohPlate
Coltellokohl-tehl-lohKnife
Mielemee-eh-lehHoney
Cornettokohr-neh-tohCroissant
Biscottibee-skoh-teeBiscuits
Tortatohr-tahCake
Crostatakrohs-tah-tahTart
Ciambellachahm-behl-lahDonut
Briosciabree-oh-shahSponge cake
Fette biscottatefeh-teh bee-skoh-tah-tehRusks
Burroboo-rohButter
Marmellatamahr-mehl-lah-tahJam
Spalmabile al cioccolatospahl-mah-bee-le ahl chee-oh-koh-lah-toChocolate spread
Uovo sodooo-oh-voh soh-dohHard boiled egg
Panepah-nehBread
Prosciuttoproh-shoo-tohHam
Formaggiofohr-mahd-johCheese
Frittellefree-tehl-lehPancakes
Crespellekrehsp-pehl-lehCrepes
Handy Italian breakfast words



italian local breakfast with sfogliatella and coffee

Breakfast Traditions & Customs in Italy

Italian traditional breakfasts unveil a delightful blend of simplicity and cultural significance. Unlike the hearty breakfasts of some other nations, the morning meal in Italy tends to be lighter, often consisting of a delicate dance between pastries, coffee, and fruits. It’s not just about nourishment; it’s a symbol of starting the day with elegance. 

Yet, beyond the culinary offerings, the cultural richness of Italian breakfasts emerges in the way they are shared. Family takes center stage, transforming breakfast into a cherished ritual of togetherness. The Italian love for leisurely mornings finds expression as families gather around the table, relishing bites of cornetti and engaging in conversations that set the tone for the day.

In Italy, breakfast isn’t just a fleeting act of consumption; it’s a pause in time, a moment to savor the company of loved ones, or simply the quiet solitude of a morning to oneself. The choice between sweet or savory reflects individual and regional preferences, with pastries like croissants and maritozzi embodying the former, while savory options like prosciutto and cheese fulfill the latter. 

The joy of breakfast extends beyond the food, encapsulating a series of habits that make it uniquely Italian. The act of stopping at a local bar for a quick coffee and pastry is a hallmark of Italian morning routines, a daily indulgence in the art of “colazione al bar.” So, whether it’s a solitary start to the day or a shared moment with friends and family, Italian breakfast customs celebrate the essence of connection and the simple pleasures of life.

Italians’ Breakfast Habits: Answering All Your Questions

Do Italians have breakfast?

Yes, most Italians have breakfast daily, and research carried out by Doxa confirms that 99% of Italians do so.

Do Italians have sweet or savory breakfast?

While the large majority tends to have a sweet breakfast, not necessarily a pastry but also fruit and yogurt, a smaller percentage prefers savory options like bread and butter, with cheese and hams or even eggs. There are also those Italians who enjoy a deli sandwich in the mornings.

Do Italians have breakfast alone?

Most Italians have breakfast in company, whether that’s at home with the family or at the bar with a friend or a colleague.

Do most Italians have breakfast at the bar?

The same Doxa study referenced earlier found that 84% of Italians have breakfast at home. That proves that Italians tend to have breakfast at home, leaving the cappuccino and cornetto at the bar for the weekend or special days.

At what time do Italians have breakfast?

According to Italia a Tavola, Italians have breakfast between 6.45 am and 8.45. The time depends on whether they are students, workers, self-employed or housewives. 


Top 20 Italian Breakfast Foods & Drinks

Discover the top 20 Italian breakfast foods and drinks that capture the essence of Italy’s morning culinary tradition. From classic Italian pastries like cornetti to savory options like prosciutto and formaggio, these morning delights cater to a range of tastes. Some are best enjoyed at home, like a slice of torta della nonna, while others draw you to local bars for a quick caffè shakerato or a flaky brioche. 

Italian Breakfast Drinks

Italian DrinksEnglish TranslationEnjoyed at
1EspressoEspressoBars and homes
2CappuccinoCappuccinoBars and homes
3Latte MacchiatoLatteBars and homes
4Caffè d’orzoBarley drinkBars
5Spremuta di aranceOrange juiceHomes and bars
6Succo di fruttaFruit juiceHomes and bars
7TeTeaHomes and bars
Top 7 Italian Breakfast Drinks enjoyed at breakfast

Caffè d’Orzo (Barley Coffee)

Caffè d’orzo, or barley coffee, is a popular non-caffeinated alternative to the traditional coffee. Italians appreciate its toasty, slightly bitter flavor that often resembles the notes of roasted nuts. It’s a comforting option, especially for those who want a coffee-like experience without the jolt. 

Spremuta di Arance (Fresh Orange Juice)

Italians relish the burst of the natural sweetness and refreshing zest that this juice brings to the breakfast table. Whether squeezed at home or served in Italian bars, it’s a vibrant and invigorating choice that complements a variety of popular breakfast foods. 

Te (Tea)

While coffee takes center stage in Italian breakfast culture, tea has secured its spot as a comforting and versatile option. Italians appreciate tea for its gentle flavors and soothing effects. 

Succo di Frutta (Fruit Juice)

Succo di frutta, or fruit juice, is a popular breakfast drink among younger generations. A favorite among Italian kids, it often finds its way into their school routines as a refreshing second breakfast option. The most popular flavors include pear, apricot, orange, or a medley of fruits.

Italians love juice for breakfast


Italian Breakfast Foods

The list continues below with the most common Italian breakfast foods, from typical Italian breakfast at home as well as other options many Italians like to have at the bar.

Italian Breakfast FoodEnglish TranslationEnjoyed at
8Latte e biscottiMilk and biscuitsHome
9CornettoCroissantBar and home
10Pasticceria da colazioneItalian breakfast pastriesBar and home
11Fette biscottate con marmellataBread rusks with jamHome
12BriosceBriosceBar and home
13Torta fatta in casaHomemade cakeHome
14CrostataCrostataHome
15Pane e nutellaBread with nutellaHome
16Yogurt con frutta e muesliYogurt with fruit and muesliHome
17Panino con prosciutto e formaggioHam and cheese paninoHome and on the go
18Uovo alla coque con crackersSoft boiled eggs with crackersHome
19Pandoro o panettoneChristmas cakesHome
20Uovo sodo e pompelmoHard boiled egg and grapefruitHome
Top 13 Foods most eaten at breakfast by Italians

Latte e Biscotti (Milk and Biscuits)

A cherished favorite among Italians of all ages, “latte e biscotti” is a sweet and simple breakfast. Easy to prepare, gentle on the palate, and offering a warm hug to start the day, this combination has always been a staple in Italian homes. This habit makes it easier to understand why breakfast biscuits are so popular in Italy. 

Cornetto

The “cornetto”, which is the name for the Italian croissant, must be mentioned. While the classic crema pasticcera filling remains a perennial favorite, the allure of apricot jam, chocolate, and the rising star of pistachio has garnered a loyal following among Italians and visitors alike. 

Italian Breakfast Pastries

But it doesn’t stop at cornetto. Traditional Italian breakfast pastries have a world of their own, with so many different shapes, doughs, and fillings. From the twisted elegance of “treccia” to the velvety treasures of “bombe alla crema”, these pastries elevate the morning experience in every region. Other options include maritozzi, sfogliatelle, budini di riso, iris, and brioche among many others.

italian rusks with butter and jam called fette biscottate

Fette Biscottate con Burro e Marmellata (Buttered Rusks with Jam)

“Fette biscottate con burro e marmellata”, is adored for its delicate crispness and the contrast between the creamy butter and sweet jam. They are the perfect way to start the morning at home with a quick yet indulgent breakfast, that’s also healthier than a cornetto.

Briosce

“Briosce”, those convenient pre-packed sponges, have earned their place in the bustling pace of Italian mornings. Ideal for an on-the-go breakfast or a merenda later in the day, these supermarket gems offer a quick and satisfying bite. Ranging from small crostate to chocolate-enveloped milk rolls, brioches are loved by kids and adults alike.

Torta Fatta in Casa (Homemade Cake)

“Torta fatta in casa”, or homemade cake, echoes a sentiment of tradition and love that fills Italian breakfasts. With options like plumcake, torta di mele, torta paradiso, ciambella, and more, these homemade creations celebrate the love for cooking and sharing food right from the morning.

Crostata

“Crostata”, a staple in Italian breakfasts, showcases the charm of homemade goodness. This rustic tart, with its buttery crust and flavorful fillings, is pure perfection when enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. Favorite options include crostata alla marmellata di ciliege, aka cherry jam tart, or one with a chocolate filling.

Pane e Nutella (Bread with Nutella)

“Pane e Nutella”, an iconic duo, epitomizes the joyful marriage of simplicity and indulgence that Italians savor in their breakfast rituals. Certainly, not an everyday kind of breakfast but equally loved by both adults and little ones when it’s time to indulge a little more.

Yogurt con Frutta e Muesli (Yogurt with Fruit and Muesli)

“Yogurt con frutta e muesli”, a nourishing choice, aligns with the wellness-conscious spirit of modern Italian breakfasts. The creamy yogurt, vibrant fruits, and crunchy muesli create a wholesome option to fuel the morning.

italian uovo alla coque aka soft boiled egg

Panino con Prosciutto e Formaggio (Ham and Cheese Sandwich)

The “panino con prosciutto e formaggio”, is the perfect Italian breakfast on the go for busy adults, especially teenagers who need to commute early to go to work or school. Beyond the classic ham and cheese, options like panino con mortadella, panino con salame, and panino con prosciutto crudo are also loved. Many times these are bought at the local deli shop in the morning before catching the bus or train.

Uova alla Coque con Crackers e Burro (Soft-Boiled Egg with Crackers and Butter)

“Uova alla coque con crackers e burro”, is not the most common Italian savory breakfast but for those who like to eat eggs offers a blend of protein with carbohydrates and a simple yet familiar breakfast routine. 

Panettone and Pandoro

“Panettone” and “pandoro”, iconic holiday treats, occasionally find their way to the breakfast spread during the festive season. In some delightful instances, they even take on a new role as ingredients for Italian-style French toast.


What do Italians eat for breakfast from North to South?

Now that you know which are the favorite foods and drinks enjoyed by Italians for breakfast, you might be asking yourself whether it’s the same for all the regions.

In this section, I am going to answer that question, by sharing insights of a typical breakfast across Italy. But before I do that, let me just say that most Italians do enjoy a variety of breakfasts from the list I gave you. Which exact combination they eat daily will vary on preference, needs, and lifestyle. However, every region has its preferences and traditions, and that’s what we are going to explore next.

Traditional Regional Breakfasts

Typical breakfast in Trento & Northern Italy

Healthy breakfasts featuring their local bread, butter, mountain milk, homemade cakes like torta di pane di segale, local cheeses, and eggs

Typical breakfast in Venice

Pestarei al latte (a dessert made with polenta and milk) or

Pinza (a sweet bread)

Caffè corretto con grappa (coffee with local grappa liqueur, similar to brandy)

Real Italian breakfast in Liguria

Cappuccino and focaccia

mortadella sandwich

Ordering breakfast in Milan 

Try panini salati farciti like a michetta con la mortadella, or salame Milano and cheese. (michetta bread rolls with mortadella, or salami and cheese)

Breakfast in Florence

Millefoglie alla crema (puff pastry with cream)

Panino con polpo, patate e fagiolini (octopus, potatoes and green beans sandwich)

Breakfast in a café in Bologna

Pinza bolognese (shortbread stuffed with jam)

Torta di riso (rice cake)

Breakfast in Rome

Cappuccino and maritozzo (fluffy roll filled with cream)

Pizza bianca con la mortazza (pizza style flat bread with mortadella)

Food for breakfast in Puglia

Friselle with different spreads or (friselle are a crispy local bread)

Pasticciotto Leccese (sweet pie filled with custard or ricotta)

Pastarelle biscuits (sponge-like biscuits perfect for dipping in milk)

Breakfast is sweet in Calabria 

Scaddateddi (crunchy small biscuits with cumin)

Order a typical breakfast in Sicily

Iris alla crema (fried fluffy pastry bun filled with cream, chocolate, or other spreads)

Cornetto con pistacchio di Bronte (Bronte pistachio croissant)

Granita and brioscia in Summer (granita can be described as something in between an ice cream and a sorbetto; brioscia is a freshly baked brioche)

Locals in Sardinia like to eat these

Savory pizza sfoglia (savory puff pastry)

Latte caldo con pane carasau e miele (warm milk with the local carasau bread and honey)


How to Order Coffee In Italian

Although Italian coffee surely deserves its article, this wouldn’t be a complete breakfast discussion if I didn’t cover a little bit about the role of coffee in Italian breakfast.

Picture this: the soft morning sun, a gentle breeze, and the aroma of freshly brewed espresso wafting through the air. Coffee in Italy is more than just a beverage; it’s an integral part of the morning ritual, an enchanting companion that dances hand in hand with pastries and conversation.

Italians have mastered the art of crafting the perfect cup, from the strong jolt of an espresso to the creamy embrace of a cappuccino. Coffee is so important for Italians that you wouldn’t find a single household without a “caffettiera”, that is the Italian moka pot. That’s the first appliance an Italian uses in the morning, other than his toothbrush. Usually, within the couple, one of the two takes turns in who brews the coffee, and the other wakes up to the aroma of that beloved morning drink.

Those whose mornings are too busy to get the caffettiera going, nonetheless enjoy their favorite cup at the bar. We call it “prendere il caffè al bar”, whether it’s the one close to home or one close to work, probably both.

Italian man enjoying an espresso al bar

How do Italians take their coffee?

Well, if the question refers to the position, they usually take it standing either while smoking on their veranda, or while admiring the view from their balcony at dawn. Others take it sitting down at their table while enjoying breakfast with the family, or alone. The remaining ones take it standing at the bar.

If the question was referring to the type of coffee Italians take in the morning, for breakfast, then you’ll want to read the next section.

Types of Coffee in Italy

Although, you can probably find at least 25 types of ways to make and enjoy Italian coffee, if not more, let me share with you the most popular 7.

  1. Espresso
  2. Ristretto
  3. Cappuccino
  4. Caffe macchiato
  5. Latte macchiato
  6. Caffelatte
  7. Caffe shakerato

Espresso: A small and concentrated shot of pure coffee essence. Brewed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans, espresso is known for its intense flavor and rich, velvety crema on top.

Ristretto: An even shorter and more concentrated version of espresso. Ristretto is created by using less water, resulting in a bolder and more robust coffee taste.

Cappuccino: A harmonious blend of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. Its signature creamy texture makes it a beloved choice for Italian mornings.

Caffè Macchiato: Meaning “stained coffee,” caffè macchiato is an espresso “stained” with a small amount of milk. The result is a strong coffee flavor with a touch of smoothness.

Latte Macchiato: The reverse of caffè macchiato, this drink is mostly steamed milk “stained” with a shot of espresso. It offers a milder coffee taste with a luxurious milkiness.

Caffèlatte: A simple and comforting combination of espresso and hot milk. With a higher milk-to-coffee ratio, caffèlatte delivers a gentle coffee kick within a warm and soothing embrace of milk.

Caffè Shakerato: A refreshing coffee treat, caffè shakerato involves shaking espresso, sugar, and ice in a cocktail shaker until frothy. Served chilled, it’s a delightful option for warm days or a cool caffeine fix.

According to a study carried out by Ansa in 2016, 97% of Italians enjoy espresso, which means that’s the number 1 most drinked coffee in Italy. It appears to be the most drunk among Italian men. When analyzing the results from the women participants, it was revealed that 77% of women prefer a lighter coffee – like a macchiato or cappuccino vs. just 23% of the male participants enjoying coffee with milk.

A more recent study, carried out by Astra Ricerche in 2020 and shared in this article by Comuni Caffe, gives a ranking of the consumption of the most common coffee types in Italy. No surprise about the fact that espresso ranks number one, followed by cappuccino, caffè macchiato, ristretto, and finally caffèlatte.

cappuccino rules in Italy

Cappuccino Rules in Italy

You’ve surely heard about the unwritten rule of not ordering a cappuccino in Italy after 10 or 11 a.m. But do you know why?

That rule exists for 3 main reasons:

  1. Italians see milk as a morning food, that’s to be enjoyed at breakfast time, so cappuccino and other coffee drinks made with milk are only associated with breakfast.
  2. There’s a deeply ingrained custom of only drinking “caffe amaro” after breakfast.
  3. Many think that mixing milk and coffee can result in a less easily digested drink, so it’s better to have it just in the morning when your digestion is at its best.

Italian Phrases to Help You Order Coffee at the Bar

“Buongiorno, cosa prende?” (the waiter asks)

Good morning, what would you like?

“Buongiorno a lei. Prendo un cappuccino e un cornetto. Grazie.”

Good morning to you. I’ll have a cappuccino and a croissant. Thank you.

“Buongiorno, mi fa un espresso? Grazie.”

Good morning. Could you make me an espresso? Thank you.

“Buongiorno. Un ristretto, per favore.”

Good morning. A ristretto, please.

“Mi farebbe un cappuccino decaffeinato? Grazie.”

Would you make me a decaffeinated cappuccino? Thank you.

“Per me, caffelatte con latte di soia. Grazie.”

For me, a caffè latte with soy milk. Thank you.

“Io vorrei un caffè shakerato, per favore.”

I’d like a shaken coffee, please.

“Il conto, per favore.”

The bill, please.

Coffee Etiquette & Rules in Italy

  1. You don’t need to ask for sugar when ordering your coffee. You can add it later yourself.
  2. You should drink the water that comes with your coffee before you take your coffee. That will help you cleanse your palate to better savor the drink you’ve ordered.
  3. You should always stir your coffee, regardless of whether you put sugar in it or not. Just do it gently, from left to right.
  4. When you’ve finished stirring, you will put the teaspoon on the right side of the plate under your glass.
  5. To drink your coffee, lift the cup using just your thumb (pollice in Italian) and index finger (indice in Italian), keep your body posture straight, and let the glass come to your mouth level. Do not raise the little finger (mignolo in Italian).
  6. When you are done drinking your coffee, put the cup back on the plate neatly.
  7. Unless the bar requests payment before, you’ll want to go to the till and pay once you’ve finished. There’s usually a dedicated area for payment in larger and more traditional bars in Italy. Simply tell the person behind the till what you’ve ordered or show the receipt that was given to you when ordering, if that’s the case.

PS: Many bars, aka coffee shops, in Italy give you two options for enjoying your coffee and breakfast. You can either order at the bar and enjoy it standing up; or you can sit down and order at your table.

If you opt for the latter, you’ll have to pay a fee called ‘servizio al tavolo’. And if you choose to order at the bar and pay before you start eating, you won’t be able to sit down at the table. So make sure to decide before ordering.



My Favorite Italian Breakfast

I thought it would be interesting to go through the journey of how my Italian breakfast changed through the years, from childhood up until adulthood. Who knows, you might even get inspired to try one or two of these breakfasts yourself.

My breakfast under 5 years

I don’t remember exactly my breakfast at that age, but I do remember my mum making me a morning snack with ricotta cheese and sugar. She would simply mix the two and place them in a glass for me to eat with a spoon as if it were yogurt or custard. I am pretty sure she made it up on my Italian grandma’s suggestion. This was a common snack given to kids in the old times, probably something my dad used to eat when he was little. 

5 to Teen

On weekdays, because of school, I remember alternating between these types of breakfasts:

During the weekend, my breakfast would vary, but these were common options:

italian dessert butter biscuits

In Summer:

What about Now?

When I am not eating healthy, or skipping breakfast to do my intermittent fasting, you’ll find me craving either a cornetto al cioccolato, or a granita and brioscia in Summer. However, the one thing I would likely be eating when out and about is a caffè latte and a slice of loaf cake. I love simple cakes, “torta”, but nothing beats my homemade plumcake. 

PS: Italians call torta both simple loaf cakes and iced cakes. However, we usually enjoy the latter for birthdays and special celebrations.



Final Thoughts

Well, that concludes our journey through the delicious world of Italian breakfasts! From creamy cappuccinos to crusty panini, we’ve explored the elegant simplicity and rich heritage that make waking up in Italy so special.

Whether you prefer a relaxing sit-down meal or a hurried stop at a local cafe, you now have all the know-how to order and appreciate breakfast like an Italian. Savor our love for quality coffee, fresh-baked pastries, and most importantly, good company.

As you’ve seen, Italian breakfast goes beyond food – it’s a cherished daily ritual and an art form honed over generations. So next time you’re in Italy or just need an escape, let the Italian morning culture transport you.

Now, who’s ready for a cornetto and caffè? Enjoy your Italian-inspired morning!

PS: If you are ready to think about dinner, I suggest exploring this article next Dinner in Italy.


Frequently Asked Questions About Breakfast in Italy

How much is breakfast in Italy? 

On average, breakfast at a cafe in Italy costs between 3-8 euros per person. At a hotel, expect to pay 15-25 euros for a continental breakfast buffet. 

Do Italians eat while walking? 

No, Italians do not typically eat full meals while walking. But a morning cappuccino or cornetto “on the go” is common.  

Do Italians just have coffee for breakfast? 

While coffee is a staple of Italian breakfast, most also enjoy something small to eat like a pastry, yogurt, or sandwich.

What time is breakfast in Italy? 

Breakfast is usually between 7-10 am. Most Italians have a quick breakfast and many stop at a cafe bar on their way to work or school.  

What is a typical breakfast in Rome? 

In Rome, a typical breakfast is a cappuccino and cornetto (croissant) eaten standing at the cafe bar. Other options include maritozzo or pizza bianca.

What biscuits do Italians eat for breakfast? 

Popular Italian breakfast biscuits include fette biscottate (rusks), pastarelle, and biscotti da inzuppo meant for dipping in milk.

What is a typical breakfast in Sicily? 

In Sicily, a typical breakfast is granita (Italian ice) with brioche, or cappuccino with an iris (deep-fried pastry). Cornetti and spremute (fresh juice) are also popular.

What do Italians drink for breakfast besides coffee? 

Common Italian breakfast drinks besides coffee include spremute (fresh fruit juices), latte (milk), tè (tea), and caffè d’orzo (barley coffee).

What is a typical Italian hotel breakfast? 

A typical breakfast buffet at an Italian hotel includes pastries (cornetti, brioche), cookies, yogurt, cereal, cold cuts, cheese, fruit, juices, coffee, and tea.

Why don’t Italians eat big breakfasts? 

Italians usually eat a light breakfast due to the culture of slowly digesting food and the tradition of a large lunch as the main meal. Heavy Italian breakfasts are rare.

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