Italian in Italy

Eating at Home

People eating dinner together

A normal breakfast in Italy, eaten between 7:30 - 8:00 a.m., consists of brioches, bread, cookies or thick crackers eaten with one's choice of honey or jam. Milk and coffee are the beverages of choice. Generally, Italians go home at lunch hour, which is generally a one to two hour break in the middle of the day. It is a point where employees have an opportunity to eat and rest before returning to work. Pasta is served at lunch, along with side dishes such as carrots, peas, potatoes or salad. There is also often sliced provolone, salami or ham and after lunch, coffee. Dinner is the main meal of the day when traditionally, the whole family is at home. There is usually a main dish of either meat or fish, however, often, for a lighter meal, there will be bean soup or minestrone. Desserts are generally only served on Sundays or holidays, although there is usually fresh fruit available.
When invited to dine at the home of a friend or acquaintance, one should always arrive with a small gift such as a bottle of wine, flowers, or sweets.