Bacon in the morning? Cappuccino in the afternoon? Forget about it!

Meals are very important for Italians, in general and they do not like to have something in a hurry or let alone eat something walking on the streets. They have a well-determined timeframe for eating, so you won’t even find restaurants open all day (most of them are closed between 3 pm and 7 pm, except for those in the touristy areas, but we don’t care about them, do we?).

Breakfast as the first meal of the day, cannot have , but a particularly important role in the lives of Italians and when in italy you cannot miss the classical “breakfast in the bar” (colazione al bar), this typical institution. surely it is very important to boot up with all those calories before getting to work. The main rule to follow is that Italians eat only and exclusively sweets for breakfast. Well, after all these years here, it wouldn’t come to my mind either to start my day with scrumbled eggs or a ham and cheese sandwich ) it doesn’t mean that when I am out of the Belpaese I am not eager to eat a toast with a kilo of butter on it in the morning.

Italians have their favourite bar near home or near work where you can drop in after leaving the kids at school, where the barista is a kind of a friend who knows your routine and as soon as he sees you coming in, starts preparing your coffe just the way you like it: cappuccino, caffé macchiato, latte macchiato, caffelatte that goes just fine with a jam or chocolate filled cornetto (the croissant’s Italian cousin).

Oh, by the way: when in Italy remember that cappuccino is only taken before noon, in case you feel like having one in the afternoon, you’d better prepare it at home  as ordering a cappuccio after lunchtime might cause life-long trauma for the waiters.

Pastries Italians take for breakfast have endless variety: cornetto, crostatina, fagottini, cannolo, pasticciotto, etc. They can be filled with chocolate, nutella, cream, pistacchio or jam.

During busy workdays the breakfast ceremony won’t take more than 10 minutes, sip the cofee at the counter, eat the cornetto, and off to the office. In the weekends it can be a perfect family programme sitting at the table.

I love Italian bars, the perfume of the coffee makes me drunk, I love the sound of the coffee spoons hitting the cups, I like watching people dropping in and out having a few words about the latest episode of the reality show in TV or the scandals of the politicians. My attraction to bars started the first time I came to Italy and afterwards, whenever I came to theis wonderful country, the first thing to do was always enter one of them and I knew I arrived. m

This little morning community is like family, we know each other, know where our childer go to school, the soccer team we support.  The breakfast is so important that during the economic crisis a couple of years ago, business papers made analysis on how the quantity of breakfasts Italians had in bars changed (a lot).

 

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