Italian cuisine is renowned throughout the world. Italian cooking is still very regional with the different towns and regions having their own traditions and specialties. You should take the time to travel and discover their origins and taste the different dishes and delicacies in the many restaurants and taverns all around Italy. You will discover a much wider variety of food compared to the dishes often offered in Italian restaurants abroad.
Breakfast in Italy usually consists of coffee (with mocha or espresso) or cappuccino, milk and pastry. A rule for Italian breakfast is a fast meal.Traditionally it was different: in the countryside when a quick breakfast, made in this manner (4.30 / 5.00 am), was followed by a second at 9.00 with a dish of soup, a sandwich with salami, fruit or other.
Lunch in Italy is always important and it is at 12,30 pm in northern regions, 13,00/14,00 in southern and central regions. You can find always spaghetti, pasta, or rice as first course, meat and fish as main course, followed by an espresso.
The most important meal by a social point of view is an Italian dinner. During dinner Italians meet with family, or friends. It is made at 7,30/8 p.m in northern regions and 9/10 p.m in central and southern regions. In the south it is not a problem to go to restaurant at 10,30/11 p.m. In the greatest tourist towns as Venice, Rome and Florence you can eat also before. But in Milan before 7,30 p.m it is very difficult to find a restaurant serving food.
Coffee in Italy
For Italians coffee means espresso, yet they accept variations: espresso can be macchiato, with hot or cold milk, with or without foam. It can also be short, tall or corretto (with added liquor, such as grappa). You can combine all these variations, but other kinds of coffee are not admitted.
Italy offers a great range of wines famous all over the world and many people will still enjoy a glass of wine with their meal although there is a tendency to drink wine only on special occasions rather than as an everyday drink.