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What do the Italian eat for breakfast?

When it comes to the Italian breakfast, it’s important to know that it is different from what you might be used to. In Italy, people tend to eat small and simple breakfasts that usually consist of a coffee and a pastry or a piece of bread with jam or butter. Unlike other countries, Italians don’t typically go for a big, hearty meal in the morning. So, if you’re visiting Italy, don’t be surprised when you see locals heading to the nearest bar for a quick cappuccino and croissant before work or school. Let’s take a closer look at what the Italian eat for breakfast and what their morning routines typically look like.

1. The Traditional Italian Breakfast

The Italian breakfast typically consists of a cappuccino or some other type of coffee drink and a pastry or bread. In Italy, most people prefer a light breakfast that is easy to prepare and consume in a hurry. Breakfast is not a grand affair in Italian culture, and it is usually consumed quickly on the way to work or school.

Traditional Italian Breakfast

2. Coffee Culture in Italy

Italians are known for their love of coffee, and the country has a rich coffee culture. Espresso is the most popular coffee drink in Italy and is consumed throughout the day. It is a strong and intense coffee that is traditionally served in small cups.

Coffee Culture in Italy

3. Pastry and Bread

Pastry and bread are popular breakfast items in Italy and are usually consumed with coffee. There are several types of pastries that are popular in Italy, including croissants, panettone, and brioche. Many Italians also enjoy bread with jam or Nutella spread on it.


4. Cheese and Cold Cuts

Cheese and cold cuts are also popular items for breakfast in Italy. Many Italians prefer a savory breakfast and will enjoy some cheese and cold cuts such as salami or prosciutto with their coffee and bread.


5. Yogurt and Fruit

For those who prefer a healthier breakfast, yogurt and fruit are popular options in Italy. Yogurt is typically consumed with granola and fresh fruit, which provides a nutritious and filling breakfast option.

Yogurt and Fruit

6. Eggs

Eggs are not a common breakfast item in Italy, but they are still eaten by many Italians. Scrambled eggs or omelets are typically consumed with bread or toast.


7. Cornetto

A cornetto, also known as an Italian croissant, is a popular breakfast pastry that is similar to a French croissant. It is typically filled with jam, Nutella, or custard and is a sweet and delicious breakfast option.


8. Ciambellone

Ciambellone is a traditional Italian cake that is consumed for breakfast or as a snack. It is a simple cake that is typically flavored with lemon or vanilla and is a comforting and satisfying breakfast option.


9. Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a delicious Italian dessert that is typically consumed after dinner, but many Italians also eat it for breakfast. It is a sweet and creamy dessert that is made with ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and espresso.


10. Conclusion

In conclusion, Italian breakfast is a simple affair that usually consists of coffee and pastry or bread. Italians love their coffee, and espresso is the preferred coffee drink. Pastries, bread, cheese, cold cuts, yogurt, fruit, eggs, cornetto, ciambellone, and tiramisu are some of the popular breakfast items in Italy. Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer a savory breakfast, Italy has something to offer for everyone.


What are the common breakfast foods in Italy?

When it comes to breakfast in Italy, you will find that most Italian breakfasts are simple and typically light compared to other cultures. Here are some of the most common Italian breakfast foods that you should try:


Cappuccino is a must-have in every Italian breakfast. It is a coffee-based beverage made with espresso and frothed milk, usually served in a small cup. In Italy, cappuccino is consumed only in the morning and never after lunch or dinner, as it is believed to interfere with digestion.


Cornetto is the Italian version of a croissant. It is a sweet, flaky pastry that is often filled with Nutella, jam, or cream. Cornetto is also called brioche in some regions of Italy. It is commonly consumed at breakfast with a cappuccino or cafe latte.

Pane e marmellata

Pane e marmellata
Pane e marmellata is a common Italian breakfast that consists of a slice of toast, bread or biscuit, spread with marmalade or jam. It is often served with a cup of coffee or tea.

Pane e Nutella

Pane e Nutella
Pane e Nutella is a popular Italian breakfast that consists of a slice of bread or biscuit, spread with Nutella. Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread that is a staple in every Italian household. It is often consumed with a cup of cappuccino or cafe latte.


Yogurt is becoming more and more popular in Italy as a breakfast food. It is typically served with granola or muesli, and sometimes fresh fruit. Yogurt is a perfect option for those who want a light and healthy breakfast.

Caffè espresso

Caffè espresso
Caffè espresso is a staple in Italian cuisine. It is a strong coffee that is made by forcing steam through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is often consumed in small cups and is a perfect option for those who need a quick and strong caffeine fix.

Frutta fresca

Frutta fresca
Frutta fresca, or fresh fruit, is also a common breakfast food in Italy. Italians often start their day with a piece of fruit, such as an apple, pear, or orange. Fruit is a healthy option for those who want a light breakfast.

Pane e formaggio

Pane e formaggio
Pane e formaggio, or bread and cheese, is a simple yet delicious breakfast option in Italy. It typically consists of a slice of bread or biscuit, topped with a slice of cheese like mozzarella or provolone.


Cornflakes are not a typical Italian breakfast food, but they are becoming more popular among younger generations. Cornflakes are typically served with milk and sometimes fruit or yogurt.


Frittata is an Italian-style omelet that is typically made with eggs, cheese, and vegetables like spinach or zucchini. It is a hearty breakfast option that is perfect for those who need a substantial meal to start their day.

In conclusion, Italian breakfasts are simple and light, but they are also delicious and satisfying. Try some of these common Italian breakfast foods the next time you’re in Italy, and you won’t be disappointed!

The typical Italian breakfast

If you’re used to a hearty English breakfast, the Italian breakfast might seem a bit sparse. But don’t let that deceive you as the focus is on quality rather than quantity.


Italian coffee
Italians love their coffee, and that’s why the first thing you’ll see them do in the morning is head out to a bar and order an espresso, also known as a caffè. You’ll also hear them say “un cappuccino, per favore,” which is a shot of espresso with steamed milk served in a small cup. Italians never take milk in their coffee after breakfast.

Biscotti and Cornetti

Italian Biscotti
A typical Italian breakfast also includes biscotti and cornetti, which are similar to croissants, but with a sweeter taste and flakier texture. Both are often dipped into coffee or cappuccino to make them softer.

Yogurt and Fruit

Italian Yogurt
Italians also enjoy yogurt and fruit for breakfast. Yogurt is often served plain, but you can also find it flavored with different fruits or granola. Fresh fruit is another common healthy option.

Cold Cuts and Cheese

Italian Cold Cuts
If you’re not in the mood for something sweet, Italians enjoy cold cuts and cheese for breakfast. You’ll find a wide variety of cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, mortadella, and ham, as well as a selection of different cheeses.


Italian breakfast eggs
Eggs have also gained popularity among Italians for breakfast. Boiled eggs are often served with a side of bread or as an addition to an already delicious sandwich filled with cold cuts and cheese.

Beverages Food
Coffee Biscotti and Cornetti
Cappuccino Yogurt and Fruit
Cold Cuts and Cheese
Eggs (boiled or in sandwich form)

In summary, Italian breakfast consists of simple but delicious items that are generally lighter than the UK or US options. The focus on high-quality ingredients and tradition are what make Italian breakfast special. So if you ever visit Italy, be sure to indulge in their classic breakfast offerings at a local cafe or bar.

Learn about the traditional ingredients used in Italian breakfast dishes by checking out this Italian breakfast blog post that delves into the cuisine’s history and customs.

That’s Breakfast in Italy

Now you know what Italians eat for breakfast. No matter what your preference is, you can surely find something to your taste. Take a tour around Italy, and you will have the opportunity to taste Italian breakfast staples on the road. Italians lay a lot of importance on taking a good breakfast every day, and you should too. We hope you enjoyed this article and discovered some interesting Italian breakfast ideas. Thanks for reading! Be sure to visit us again soon for more interesting articles!

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