We hope you have a snack nearby as you’re reading this. Because you might get a little hungry. Breakfast, or, colazione in Italian, is somewhat different than the first meal we have here in the United States. To put it simply, an Italian breakfast is lighter, yet sweeter. Cake for breakfast? Not a joke here. Savory options aren’t really the norm. And you won’t see massive brunch plates in Italy. Just a quick little meal standing at the bar of your local coffee shop chatting with friends before you begin your day.
First up, coffee. A typical Italian breakfast, at the very least, includes a caffe latte or a cappuccino. Children typically drink hot chocolate, plain milk, or even hot milk with a dash of coffee. An alternative to coffee is Orzo, a slightly nutty, non-caffeinated roasted barley beverage that looks like cocoa. But let’s be honest, espresso is the way to go.
The ideal accompaniment to your coffee is bread or rolls with butter and jam, biscotti, or a pastry. At home breakfast options include, muesli and yogurt, cookies, croissants, and fruit. Breakfast in Italy might not be the healthiest, but it sure is delicious. You probably won’t see things like cereal and muffins. Definitely no eggs for breakfast; those are reserved for lunch, in hard-boiled form on salads.
Unlike in most parts of the world, breakfast in Italy isn’t a huge meal. Italians simply aren’t heavy breakfast eaters. Eggs, sausages, and pancakes baffles an Italian. How can one eat such a big meal with a long day ahead of them? Anything to filling would just tire them out before a busy work day. Even on weekends and holidays, people generally don’t go out for a sit down breakfast. And while espresso is served all day long, it’s uncommon to see someone eating a croissant in the afternoon. Bars tend to run out of pastries early, as they are freshly baked in the morning.
To put it simply, breakfast in Italy = hot beverage + pastry. Now you’ll just have to choose which sweet you’ll start your day with…