Eating Like An Italian: What Do They Eat In Italy

Italian food is a staple of the country’s culture. We’re all aware of the importance of Italian cuisine to its people, and that’s why we’re here – to learn more about it.

Have you ever wondered what Italians eat for dinner? Though that question is difficult to answer, there are typical meals in Italy that can be put in that spot.

Italy’s cuisine varies depending on the part of the country you’re exploring, but we’ll try to give you the basics. 

Keep reading if you wish to know what they eat in Italy. And, to try some of those delicious dishes, visit Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar in Miami.

What Do They Eat In Italy?

The quality of Italian food hides behind delicious ingredients, like fresh tomatoes, high-quality cheese, and olive oil. Most people from this country base their diet on homemade Italian meals made with fresh local produce available at the local market or in their own garden.

Pizza and pasta may be your favorite dishes, but Italian food is so much more than that. Soups and stews are among the most popular dishes in this part of the world and one of the reasons Italian cuisine is considered among the healthiest in the world.

Kale, spinach, arugula, and plenty of other greens and vegetables are often included in Italian meals. And we know all of those are healthy!

Small portions and multiple dishes – that’s the most simple answer to the “what do they eat in Italy” question. We may not be used to it, but it’s normal in this part of the world to have tomato sauce pasta and a side salad for lunch.

But let’s get into specifics and talk more about typical meals in Italy.

What Do Italians Eat for Breakfast?

In Italy, breakfast isn’t meant to fill your stomach. “Colazione,” what they call it, is there to give you an energy boost and prepare you for the rest of the day. 

If you’re looking to get your digestion up and running with something on the fly, consider eating like the Italians. They usually have something quick or on the go and proceed with their daily obligations.

Most people from Italy start their day with a cappuccino. I guess we all have something in common – coffee is what gets us out of bed. It’s also an essential part of the Italian lifestyle and, of course, the ideal solution for anyone looking for a sip of energy.

A croissant or cornetti is what usually accompanies the coffee. Or, if it’s not that, the breakfast includes eggs and toast.

As you may notice, Italian morning meals rely on simplicity.

What Do Italians Eat for Lunch?

If you wish to find out what Italians eat for lunch, you’ll have to take out two hours of your day. These folks take their time regarding the most important meal of the day. Nothing is rushed, so sit down, relax, and enjoy an authentic Italian meal.

But what do they eat in Italy for lunch? Well, the meal consists of three dishes.

  • Primo, which is usually soup, pasta, or a risotto dish
  • Secondo – a dish primarily made from meat or fish
  • Contorno – the side dish

If you’re afraid of carbs, steer clear away from Italy. People there love having them and won’t be looking at the packaging for nutritional facts before adding more Parmesan cheese on top of every dish or including pasta in every meal.

Most typical meals in Italy include a bunch of different dishes. Naturally, often, there are leftovers. However, Italians have a unique way of reinventing the food left behind and finding opportunities to enjoy it another time.

No, the food isn’t thrown away but modified and turned into a separate meal. Don’t be surprised if last night’s dinner is served for lunch tomorrow. 

So, what do Italians eat for lunch? The most common answer might be last night’s dinner.

To finish the two-hour-long lunch in style, Italians will have a light dessert. That’s usually something like a piece of fruit or gelato. 

Of course, having so many items can be a bit tiring, making you wish for a nap afterward. But instead of that, these folks prefer a pick-me-up in the shape of an espresso. Grab a freshly brewed shot and get ready for the rest of the day.

If you can’t handle a straight shot of coffee, try having a macchiato next time you’re in Italy. It’s an espresso with just enough milk to make it lighter but still delicious.

What Do Italians Eat for Dinner?

Dinner is an opportunity to reconnect with your family after a long day of work and running around after chores. 

The family gathers to share their experiences and stories about what happened during the day, value each other’s company, and enjoy delicious food.

But what do Italians eat for dinner?

Dinner is a lighter meal for more Italians, and it’s enjoyed between 7 PM and 8 PM.

Primarily, this meal consists of a salad, followed by a primo and a secondo variation. 

Eggplants, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, and other items Italian people can find in their garden are usually on the table at dinner time. Seasonal fruits are often served fresh, so don’t be surprised if you see a plate of apples or oranges.

Of course, sleeping is easy after such a flavorful meal.

What Do Italians Drink With Their Meals?

Breakfast is served with coffee, but a glass of wine accompanies lunch and dinner in Italy. So, get used to that if you’re planning a trip.

If you wish to try something different, we recommend the Italian spritz cocktail. It’s a mixture of Campari, Prosecco, and soda and a perfect introduction to Italian day drinking.

If beer is your thing, Peroni and Moretti are the most popular brands. Give them a shot and see how good Italian beers are.

After the meal, you’ll likely be served limoncello. That is a traditional lemon-based liqueur that’s served as a digestive aid after the meal.

However, no matter what you decide to have during your time in Italy, the crucial part is to enjoy every bite. Take your time, spend each meal with friends and family, and you’ll learn to eat the Italian way.

What Do They Eat In Italy When They Need a Snack?

Snacking is a part of American eating culture, and it’s natural for us to wonder how it looks in Italy. 

What you maybe didn’t know is that Italians are prone to snacking as well. 

Bruchetta, frittatas, focaccia, piadina, and panini are all perfect snack solutions for any part of the day. 

Try cannoli or biscotti if you’re looking for a quick sweet snack. And, of course, gelato is a no-brainer during the summer.

Visit Mi’talia

To try the best Italian food Florida offers, visit Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar in Miami.