An Italian Breakfast of sugar covered broiche buns with two teapots and two teacups filled with black tea
Food,  Travel

Italian Breakfast; You’ll Either Love It or Hate It

Italian Breakfast: You’ll Either Love It or Hate it

A typical Italian Breakfast (colazione)  is quite different than what you would find in the United States, England, or The Bahamas. It relies heavily on a mix of coffee, milk and sweet baked goods. A common Italian Breakfast consists of sweet breads, small pastries, and espresso or cappuccino, THAT’S IT. Breakfast is meant to be eaten relatively quickly and on the go. Quite different from what I am used to in The Bahamas.

I am used to savory breakfasts so I struggled with the breakfast in Italy. For a lot of people, breakfast is the largest meal of the day, But in Italy, it’s the complete opposite.

Based on my research before my trip, I knew what to expect but didn’t have any idea that it would be so hard to find other options. I enjoyed trying new things and tried to embrace Italian Breakfast but my body simply did not react kindly. Each time I took a bite of a sweet pastry early in the morning it made me feel quite nauseous. I was even more shocked when I realized that it was even nearly impossible to get just plain toast. It was either plain white bread or Fette biscottate which are little sweet biscuits shaped like toast in a small plastic package. They’re basically stale sweet crackers that are meant to be eaten with marmalade, butter, or an Italian favorite; Nutella.  If I’m being honest I found it quite comical when a waiter brought a small package out with “toast biscuits” to the table. 

Notice the non-toasted bread beneath the eggs.

Related: Surviving long-haul flights

Here is what you can expect from an Italian Breakfast:

Caffeine Time

If you are an espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, or a lover of any other highly caffeinated beverage you have come to the right place.

Cooked Breakfasts Can Be Hard To Find

Cooked breakfasts are not as common in Italy, however, if you are staying in a hotel or visiting a touristy restaurant they’ll likely have some sort of continental or English breakfast on the menu and eggs cooked a number of different ways.

Baked Goods Galore

Expect sugar-covered, Nutella or cream-filled pastries, biscuits, cakes, or even pies. Things like brioche (sweet bread), cornetto (Italian croissant), ciambella (Italian donuts) and so many more pastries and danishes to choose from.


Cafes are the cornerstone of Italian breakfasts on the go. You’ll see people standing up at the counter with an espresso and cornetto.

Dairy Milk

Most cafes will have the option of whole milk or reduced-fat milk. Dairy-free alternatives are not as commonly used in cafes, so if you’re lactose intolerant you may want to forgo the milk in your coffee.

Fresh Squeezed Juices

Depending on the town you’re in most restaurants and cafes will have a selection of fresh-squeezed juices. The most common is orange juice and it’s honestly something you have to try. The fresh-squeezed orange juice was my favorite.

If you have dietary restrictions and simply can’t handle a sweet breakfast or If you are not sure if your accommodations can meet your needs. I suggest visiting a supermarket or deli and purchasing items that are better suited to the type of diet that you are used to. If you are staying at an Air BnB or rental property stocking up on a few items may be the better option as well.

I did not enjoy Italian Breakfasts, but you may if you have a sweet tooth. Italian Breakfasts were not my favorite meal of the day, but the lunches and dinners made up for it. If a short and sweet breakfast is your norm, breakfast in Italy will be a dream come true for you. If you’ve traveled to Italy before, let me know your thoughts on the breakfast options.


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