Italian Meals – Words and Phrases for Italian Breakfast

posted in: Vocabulary & Idioms | 2

I hope you’ll find it interesting and maybe learn a little more about the morning customs of us Italians.

When it comes to a traditional Italian breakfast, it is important to remember that for many Italians it is quite normal for Italian families to dine late, so breakfast is almost never very rich.

For a rapid boost of energy before beginning the day, the typical Italian breakfast, or “colazione“, is frequently sweet and small. It consists of a beverage, such as coffee, milk, or juice, and one baked food, such as a biscuit, cake, pastry, bread roll, or drink.

So let’s learn more about Italian Meals – Words and Phrases for Italian Breakfast.

The most popular Italian breakfast foods and drinks.


cappuccino Italian Meals -  Words and Phrases for Italian Breakfast


Cappuccino is an espresso-based coffee drink and is considered a breakfast beverage. 

caffè Italian Meals -  Words and Phrases for Italian Breakfast


Coffee in Italy is mainly linked to the use of the Moka at home and the Espresso in bars.

caffellatte Italian Meals -  Words and Phrases for Italian Breakfast
Di Takeaway – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Caffelatte is basically a cappuccino without foam.

latte Italian Meals -  Words and Phrases for Italian Breakfast


It’s most typical to find dairy milk, either full fat (intero) or reduced-fat, on Italian breakfast tables (scremato).

cornetto Italian Meals -  Words and Phrases for Italian Breakfast


Cornetto (or brioche in the north) is the classic dessert for the Italian breakfast. You can ask for a “cornetto semplice/vuoto (empty) or ripieno (filled).
Usually, the Cornetto can be filled with cream, chocolate or marmalade

biscotti Italian Meals -  Words and Phrases for Italian Breakfast


Both kids and adults frequently choose to pair their morning milk with a piece of biscuits.


fette biscottate


Traditional Italian breakfast usually includes “Fette biscottate,” a sort of packaged galette with a mild flavour and often low calories that are used as a vehicle for butter and jam.
They go well with Nutella, butter, and jam.
Their name, which means “baked twice,” comes from the Italian word bis-cotto and indicates that they are a dry, crispy delicacy.


Breakfast in Italy is not a huge meal like it is elsewhere.

It usually includes espresso made at home with a stovetop Moka, milk, dunking biscuits or bread, fresh fruit or juice.

Moka Pot – How To Make Coffee On The Stove

Caffellatte and caffè made with the Moka are the more common choices for drinks for breakfast at home.

Usually, Italians often consume their breakfast out in the thousands of bars where they serve cappuccino and croissants or cornetto.

Both the croissant and the cornetto are breakfast pastries. Normally you can just ask a  cornetto semplice (“simple”).

The cornetto semplice is also known as the cornetto vuoto (“empty”), to contrast it with various types of cornetti ripieni (“filled”).

These include  cornetto alla crema (with custard),  cornetto alla marmellata (with jam, marmalade),  cornetto al miele (with honey), and  cornetto al cioccolato.

Cornetti are sometimes called brioche in some northern parts of Italy, though in Naples, Sicily and parts of the south the name “brioche” is used for a pastry.

In Sicily, they eat it with a granita alla mandorla (almond granita).

Don’t be scared to attempt a few words in Italian, locals find your accent very charming!

And as long as you engage them in conversation, Italians will always be hospitable and go out of their way to oblige your requests.

What’s next?

You might want to keep learning Italian online with these free resources:

How to ask and answer personal questions in Italian

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