La Bella Vita

You do not even have to check the time: if you are passing next to a bar and you hear the relentless beating of the cups, you know it is breakfast time, or "la colazione". In Italy, it is usually coffee, coffee with milk or "capuccino" with bread with jelly or a piece of sweet bread, like a croissant, called "cornetto."

But the truth is that Italians go to the bar several times a day because good coffee is always welcomed!

In big and small cities, the central point of Italian culture is the famous "piazza". It does not matter if it is a big or small square, there you will surely find people speaking to each other, enjoying the journey with their children, or with their pets. It is also in these squares that parties, assemblies, celebrations, and political events occur.
However, it is possible that you will see nobody in the "piazza" between 12:30 AM and 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM. As those are the sacred schedules for Italians' meals, everybody will be home enjoying the most famous and wonderful cuisine in the world.

Ahhh, Italian food!

At 11/11:30 AM they make a "spuntino", which is a snack. They will eat a sandwich, with cheese and ham, or just a juice or a fruit.
The lunch, or "il pranzo", usually takes place from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM and consists of the following dishes:
- "Primo Piatto": usually is pasta such as spaghetti, lasagne, or tagliettele. It can be also risotto;
- "Secondo Piatto": the main ingredient is a kind of meat ( rabbit, pork, chicken, veal, fish etc.) with side dishes, called "contorni", like cooked vegetables or salads;
- Assorted pastries as the desert;
- Fresh seasonal fruits and cheeses;
- Coffee.
Around 5:00 PM, they make a "snack", especially the children. Usually, they eat bread with nutella (cioccolata), bread with ham, or jelly or fruit.
The dinner, "la cena", is served to the whole family, usually at 8:00 PM, and consists basically of the following:
- The "Primo Piatto", based on vegetable soup and pasta, or "brodo" (broth) of meat;
- The "Secondo Piatto", with varied cheeses, or sliced sausage, such as ham, mortadella, salami, etc. or eggs with boiled vegetables or salads;
- Fresh seasonal fruits.

We cannot forget that Italians usually eat "bruschette", slices of stale bread, grilled with garlic and topped with tomatoes, olives, eggplants and so on, and watered with extra virgin olive oil. And no, the bread never lacks at the Italian table - with any kind of meal - and good wine!

Where is the best place to buy vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, oils, cheeses, bread, pasta, honey, eggs, salads, etc? The "Mercato", which is a fair usually held in the large city squares. Once a week, you can buy fresh products to prepare the delicacies consumed every day by these vibrant people who live intensely and appreciate the art of eating well!