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What do Italians eat for breakfast?

When it comes to breakfast, Italians have a slightly different approach than their European neighbors. While the French prefer croissants and the Brits enjoy full English breakfasts, Italians often opt for something simpler. Breakfast in Italy is typically light and consists of a coffee and a pastry, or a slice of bread with jam or Nutella. However, there are also some more substantial options for those who prefer a heartier meal in the morning. So, what exactly do Italians eat for breakfast? Let’s take a closer look.

What do Italians eat for breakfast?

Italy is a country known for its incredible food and rich culinary traditions. Food is an essential part of Italian culture, and the Italian breakfast is no exception. In this article, we take a closer look at what Italians eat for breakfast.

1. Espresso

Italians love their coffee, and no breakfast is complete without a shot of espresso. Italians typically drink their espresso standing at a local cafe or bar, while catching up with friends or reading the morning paper.


2. Cappuccino

If you’re looking for something a little creamier, then a cappuccino might be the way to go. This frothy drink is made with equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and foam.


3. Cornetto

Similar to the French croissant, the cornetto is a delicious Italian breakfast pastry that can be filled with jam, cream, or chocolate. It’s a staple in every Italian breakfast.


4. Pane e marmellata

Pane e marmellata, or bread and jam, is a simple yet delicious Italian breakfast. Italians typically use fresh, crusty bread and their favorite variety of jam.

Pane e marmellata

5. Yogurt and granola

For a healthier option, Italians love to start their day with yogurt and granola. This simple breakfast is easy to prepare and is packed with protein and fiber.

Yogurt and granola

6. Frittata

If you’re looking for a savory breakfast, then a frittata is the way to go. This Italian omelet is made with eggs, cheese, and various vegetables and is a popular breakfast dish.


7. Prosciutto and cheese

Another popular Italian breakfast is prosciutto and cheese. Italians love their cured meats and cheeses, and this simple breakfast is a great way to start the day.

Prosciutto and cheese

8. Tiramisu

If you have a sweet tooth, then you might be interested in trying tiramisu for breakfast. This delectable dessert is made with espresso, ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder.


9. Pizza

Yes, you read that right. Italians are known for eating pizza for breakfast. It’s not uncommon to see locals grabbing a slice of leftover pizza from the night before for breakfast.


10. Fresh Fruit

Finally, Italians love their fresh fruit. A bowl of seasonal fruit is a popular breakfast option, providing plenty of vitamins and fiber to start the day off right.

Fresh fruit

In conclusion, Italians have a wide variety of breakfast options to choose from, ranging from sweet to savory. Whether you’re in the mood for a pastry and coffee or a frittata and prosciutto, you’re sure to find something delicious to start your day off right in Italy.

10 Breakfast Delicacies to Indulge in Italy

Italy is home to a plethora of delicious breakfast delicacies that are a gastronomic delight. Some of the popular Italian breakfast foods are discussed below:

1) Cappuccino:

Italian breakfast is incomplete without a steaming cup of cappuccino. Made with rich espresso and creamy milk foam, cappuccino is a staple in Italy. It is not common to have cappuccino after 11 am as it is considered a breakfast-specific drink in Italy.

2) Cornetto:

A classic Italian breakfast food is Cornetto, similar to a French croissant. They come in variations, either plain or filled with jams, Nutella, or chocolate. Cornetto is the perfect breakfast on the go and is often enjoyed with cappuccino or hot chocolate.

3) Brioche:

A sweet bread roll that is buttery and fluffy, brioche is served as breakfast in Italy. It is often filled with jam or a hazelnut spread like Nutella. Brioche is an excellent option for breakfast on the go or when you are in the mood for a sweet treat.

4) Frittata:

Frittata is a popular egg dish that is eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Italy. It is similar to an omelet, made with eggs, cheese, and vegetables. It’s an excellent option for a protein-packed breakfast.

5) Yogurt and Granola:

Yogurt and Granola
Healthy eaters in Italy opt for yogurt and granola for breakfast. Fresh yogurt served with granola, nuts, and fruits is a nutritious way to kick start your day.

6) Bomboloni:

A doughnut-shaped pastry, Bomboloni, is served as an Italian breakfast food. The dough is slightly sweetened and often filled with Nutella, crema, or jam. It is an excellent option for a sweet breakfast treat.

7) Espresso:

Espresso is a strong and intense coffee that is synonymous with Italian culture. It’s served in small cups, and Italians often have a shot of espresso after breakfast.

8) Pancakes:

Pancakes with sweet toppings are an exception from typical Italian breakfast. These fluffy treats are served with Nutella, jam, or honey.

9) Crostata:

This sweet Italian tart made with shortbread crust or puff pastry filled with jam, fruits, custard or chocolate. It is often eaten as a snack or dessert in Italy, but it is also served for breakfast.

10) Panino:

Panino is a delicious sandwich filled with anything that takes your fancy, including bread, mortadella, prosciutto, and cheese. Panini is a popular breakfast choice that is simple, fast, and typically eaten on the go.


Italians are known for their love for food, and breakfast is no exception. Packed with flavors and delicious dishes, Italian breakfast has something for every food lover. From sweet pastries to savory eggs, Italian breakfast options can satisfy every craving. So, next time you visit Italy, skip those plain eggs and toast and indulge your taste buds with some of these mouth-watering delights.

Traditional Italian Breakfasts

When people in Italy have breakfast, they are not just looking to fuel their bodies for the day ahead – they are savouring the tradition and culture that comes with it. There are many different breakfast dishes enjoyed in Italy – some which vary regionally and others which have become staples across the country. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular options:

Cappuccino and Cornetto

The most popular Italian breakfast is a cappuccino and a cornetto. A cappuccino is a coffee drink made with espresso and milk, and a cornetto is a croissant-like pastry that comes in several different flavours. You will find that locals usually order these in coffee bars, or bring them home to enjoy with their family.

Cappuccino and Cornetto

The perfect cappuccino is not just about taste – it’s an art form. Italians care about the quality of their coffee, the temperature of the milk, and the amount of foam on top. The cornetto is also a thing of beauty – a crisp and buttery pastry filled with either chocolate, cream or jam.

Panini and Prosciutto

While many Italians prefer a sweet breakfast, there are those who choose to start their day with something savoury. One popular option is a panini with prosciutto – a type of cured ham made from the rear leg of the pig.

Panini and Prosciutto

The panini is usually made with ciabatta or other types of bread, and may contain other ingredients like tomatoes, lettuce or cheese. This traditional breakfast is perfect for those who prefer something more substantial in the morning.

Yogurt and Fruit

For those who prefer a lighter breakfast, a bowl of yogurt with fresh fruit is a great option. This breakfast is often enjoyed during the summer months when fruits like peaches, strawberries and kiwis are in season.

Yogurt and Fruit

In addition to being light and refreshing, this dish is also full of vitamins and nutrients, making it an excellent choice for those who want to start their day off in a healthy way.


Although not a traditional breakfast option, bruschetta is a favourite of many Italians and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. This dish is made by grilling slices of bread, rubbing them with garlic, and topping them with tomatoes, basil and olive oil.


This breakfast may seem simple, but the combination of flavours is unbeatable. Bruschetta is perfect for those who want something savoury in the morning without feeling too heavy.

Italian Breakfast Table

If you’re looking to recreate an Italian breakfast at home, you can create a table with coffee, orange juice, tea, fruit, yogurt, different types of bread, croissants, prosciutto, cheese, and eggs.

Beverages Food Items
Coffee Bread
Tea Croissants
Orange Juice Prosciutto

Make sure to take your time while enjoying your Italian breakfast, as it’s not just about the food, but also the company and conversation that comes with it.

Learn about the traditional Italian breakfast menu with Delicious Italy’s article.

Saying “buongiorno” to Italian breakfasts!

We hope this article has given you an insight into the wonderful world of Italian breakfasts. Whether you prefer a sweet or savory start to the day, there’s something for everyone. So why not try a few of these delicious dishes at home or on your next visit to Italy? Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll join us again soon for more foodie adventures!

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