authentic Italian breakfast authentic Italian breakfast

Traditional Italian breakfast: Coffee and Cuisine

By the Lavazza Team 2–3 minutes

When you think of an Italian breakfast, one thing will probably come to mind: coffee! Of course, there’s much more to it than that. Italians take pleasure in their food and drink, and breakfast is no exception.

It begins with choosing the best coffee for breakfast. It’s a straightforward meal compared to other Italian dining experiences. Nevertheless, quality and sustainability are the priorities.

Starting the day well is important wherever you wake up. Here are just a few Italian breakfast ideas, made with passion and attention to detail for a rich and joyful experience.

Italian Breakfast Beverages

For kids, milk or thick hot chocolate is the go-to drink in the morning. But for adults, a typical Italian breakfast almost always involves coffee—and there are several ways it can be enjoyed.

Before we look at the favorites, it’s essential to note that a traditional Italian breakfast looks different in various parts of the country. However, coffee in the morning is something that almost all Italians agree on!


A cappuccino for breakfast is one of the most popular ways to start the day in Italy. The large cup and foamy top are both recognizable and beloved. We recommend our ¡Tierra! for Planet blend in a cappuccino.

Latte Macchiato

Milky drinks are most popular at the start of the day, which is why a tall drink of milk with ‘a spot’ of coffee is often on the menu. For a creamy Latte Macchiato, we suggest ¡Tierra! for Amazonia.

Caffe Macchiato

If you prefer your ratio of coffee to milk to be the other way around, then order coffee with a splash of milk instead. For a strong, rich brew, use Lavazza Classico.


For many, an authentic Italian breakfast is a quick one. When it comes to quick drinks, nothing beats espresso. It’s usually served as one shot, which most Italians drink standing at a café bar if they’re eating their breakfast while out and about. For a premium espresso experience, we recommend Lavazza Perfetto.

What do Italians eat for breakfast?

Coffee accompanies a meal or is enjoyed after food is eaten, so an Italian breakfast isn’t complete without something to eat. Italian breakfast foods are usually sweet, and it’s uncommon to see a cooked breakfast. In some places, you’ll even see cold meats and cheese as part of a morning meal.

There are several sweet breakfast dishes that Italians favor. These include a range of pastries, including cornetti, which is like a filled croissant, and sfogliatelle, a thin pastry with ricotta that’s popular in Naples. Other sweet options include maritozzi, the famous Italian sweet bread often found in Rome, or biscotti to go with your coffee.

A healthy Italian breakfast might consist of some bread, butter, jam, some yogurt, and fruit. Italians also eat muesli and cereal in the mornings with yogurt or milk. A combination of dried fruit, fresh fruit, nuts, and yogurt is a healthy and popular option.

Ciambella is one of the most popular Italian breakfast cakes. It’s traditionally baked in the shape of a ring and topped with icing or dusted with sugar. It usually includes one of Italy’s favorite flavors: lemon. You can adapt it to suit your taste or choose an easy coffee cake recipe for a morning treat.

A simple Italian breakfast is usually preferred. Italians are keen on portion control and eat quite quickly in the morning, so fast and no fuss is best.

Italian breakfasts on special occasions: Christmas and Easter

Special occasions mean tradition and time with family. Appreciating each other and Italian culture occurs even first thing in the morning with an Italian Christmas breakfast. For a full Italian breakfast, Christmas is the ideal time of year to slow down and indulge. Since Christmas Eve dinner is part of the celebration, the traditional Italian breakfast items for this time of year include leftover pandoro, a sweet bread, or panettone and panforte, two types of fruit bread.

Italian Easter breakfast traditions differ in parts of the country, which is why you might see some savory breads filled with eggs, meat, and cheese. Others will argue that torta pasqualina (coming from the word Pasqua, meaning Easter), which usually contains egg, spinach, and ricotta, is the best Italian breakfast. Either way, Italians end their period of fasting with tempting foods and delicious coffee.


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