Eating breakfast in Italy--5 things I learnt!

An Italian Espresso shot in fine chinawear. Image©gunjanvirk

An Italian Espresso shot in fine chinawear. Image©gunjanvirk

Some of my best memories of Italy when I was living there as a student of fashion, more than fashion itself, are the smell of hot buttery croissants with marmalade and coffee. :) I remember standing outside McDonald's on cold winter mornings in my black ill-fitted, long coat and strange looking, fake-leather tan boots that I bought for Euro 20, waiting for my friend Fabio to give me a ride to the church, as the torturous smells of freshly made croissants trespassed my consciousness! I had just arrived in Italy and was still getting used to the new place and surroundings. My young, impressionable mind took in everything it saw and before I knew, I became a part of the Italian culture adopting everything from language and dress to breakfast and brioche (croissant in Italian)!

1. Brown bags and brioche on the go!

Coming from a culture, where I am accustomed to eating a large breakfast every day, Italy was quite a change! Eating only a croissant for breakfast from brown bags on the go is definitely not my thing but...

As part of my new Italian incarnation, it became a part of my daily routine before going to college, to stop by at a 'Bar' and ask for 'una brioche con marmellata e un cappucio, per favore!' (a croissant with marmalade and a cappuccino, please) that I would eat out of a paper bag while walking to college--I don't remember now how I managed to drink the coffee while walking but I do remember this very nicely dressed, good-looking man walking past me one day and say on his phone at 7:30a.m. in the morning, 'Dimmi qualche gossip!' (Tell me some gossip!)!:)

2. A cappuccino in a bar!

 
Getty images, taratata

Getty images, taratata

 

Ok, so a bar in Italy is not a regular bar as understood in English language but a cafe where one stops for a quick coffee or a bite like a sandwich or a salad. There is a bar on almost every corner of the street in Italy and they are especially crowded around breakfast time when people stop by for a hurried breakfast of a cappuccino and a croissant before rushing off to work!

I very much enjoyed the Italian way of having breakfast at 'Il Bar' and sometimes would walk across from where I lived, to a small bar for my share of coffee and brioche for the day! I really enjoyed watching people elegantly dressed in their Guccis and Armanis, shouting over the hustle-bustle of the cafe, for their capuccios or espressos as they got ready for their day of work ahead!

3. When I sat down in a bar for a coffee!

This happened in Florence and I was still new to the Italian culture. My friend Luigi at whose place I was staying invited me to breakfast at a bar and after placing our orders, I found us a table and sat down when Luigi hiding his embarrassment, said to me that it cost more to have coffee while sitting down at a table! So having breakfast while standing at bar became the order of the day for me!

4. Breakfast with Milena--delicious nut cake and coffee

One day I was invited to my friend Milena's house for breakfast and was a little surprised when only cake and coffee was served for breakfast! But the cake was delicious and the espresso stimulating--before long I realized that this was a perfect Italian breakfast!

Nutcake and Espresso for an Italian breakfast! Image©gunjanvirk

Nutcake and Espresso for an Italian breakfast! Image©gunjanvirk

Delicious nutcake makes a perfect Italian breakfast! Image©gunjanvirk

Delicious nutcake makes a perfect Italian breakfast! Image©gunjanvirk

5. Caffè latte and biscotti--breakfast the Simonetta way!

One day I spent my day with a friend of a friend named Simonetta, perfectly Italian in every way. I was quite amazed when she told me she had only coffee and and biscuits for breakfast and pretty soon I discovered that this was really the Italian way of having breakfast!

P.S. What I learnt as a fashion student in Italy?

How to make the perfect espresso in a Moka Express!!

A perfect espresso getting ready in a Moka Express! Image©gunjanvirk

A perfect espresso getting ready in a Moka Express! Image©gunjanvirk