If you see Romans eat breakfast at home with milk and cereals, it’s probably on a TV commercial. Romans prefer to stop at cafés and get a cornetto (croissant) with a cappuccino or latte macchiato.
Lunch can be anything from a quick sandwich eaten standing at the corner bar to a full four course meal ending with a coffee.
The term merenda usually refers to children eating sweet afternoon snacks. Adults like to eat a slice of pizza or something small with coffee, while taking a short afternoon break.
The aperitif is not in the Roman tradition, but in recent years the trend has begun in Rome. The aperitif was born in the city of Genoa and has become a tradition in Milan and in many cities of northern Italy ..
Traditionally, the Genoese are a people who do not waste anything, and then the bartenders before the closure (about 19.00 pm) offered the leftover food in the day to customers, which obviously consumed to honor those who offered food for free, and then eating usually you drink. So the proper timing and ‘before dinner, at about 19 pm.
Romans have dinner no sooner than 8:30, and you’ll see people coming to restaurants at 11:00 or even later.
Lunch and dinner meals courses always have a name.
- Antipasto is the appetizer.
- Il primo (the first) refers to the first course, pasta, rice, pizza, and other carbohydrates.
- IL secondo (the second) refers to the second course, which consists mainly on meat or fish.
- Contorno is a side dish, like extra beans or salad.
- Dolce is the dessert.
- Sometimes Italians end their meals with a digestivo (literally a digestive) which is a superalcoholic like grappa, amaro, or limoncello.
- Before leaving the table, most Italians will have a caffè, which is always an espresso coffee. Nobody ever drinks cappuccino after a meal.
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