Easily the most important meal of the day, especially if you’ll be exploring all day long, breakfast is a leisurely affair in Italian cities – even if you’re in a hurry.
The Classic Italian Breakfast
If you’re typically a person who enjoys large breakfasts, you’ll be a bit out of luck in Italy. The classic Italian breakfast is a cup of coffee – perhaps a cappuccino or espresso and a croissant or other bread. If you don’t enjoy coffee, most hotels and cafes also offer hot chocolate or tea with breakfast.
The morning in Italy is just as special as any other time of day, so when possible you should take your breakfast outside. Stop at a small café along a piazza or major roadway to watch the city come alive if you’re an early riser. Linger over your coffee and croissants while enjoying the quiet. This might very well be the only quiet time you experience in the city today.
The More Typical Italian Breakfast
The Italians are a people who don’t typically rush over meals, but many find that taking too long over breakfast is cumbersome. While it’s unlikely you’ll see as many Italians rushing about with pastry bags and coffee cups as you do Americans back in the states, you will find that breakfast is quite a bit less formal than lunch, or especially dinner.
While in Italy, avoid the temptation to rush through breakfast or grab it on the go while you hike to your various destinations. All of your meals in Italy should be an experience and breakfast is no exception. Try breakfast in your hotel on your first morning and then branch out into other parts of the city the mornings that follow.
Take a long walk through the city before it is fully awake and settle yourself down in a café or restaurant that looks promising. Or, if you’re in a great spot, you might grab your breakfast pastries to go and quickly settle down by a fountain or on a bench outside one of the more impressive sights of the city to enjoy them at a leisurely pace. The early morning is one of the best times to avoid crowds of tourists, so use this quiet time to both enjoy your breakfast and gaze at ancient ruins, antique fountains or lush gardens without interruption. Breakfast might very well become your favorite time of the Italian day.