Italians say that you cannot eat anything savory before 11am, and we love this idea! Italian food is usually thought of as pizza, pasta, and gelato. Italians have an amazing diet and culture, and their breakfast foods are just as exciting as their regular food.

They usually eat sweet things in the morning, and they always have coffee. Breakfast in Italy is modest and small, and is often a pastry and a coffee. They have a range of different breakfast items.

However, like most European countries, they have a similar Mediterranean breakfast diet, usually consisting of fruit, pastries, coffee, and bread. These foods are delicious, and they aren’t necessarily Italian, but Italians eat them everyday.

So on this list, you may find a few breakfast foods that you’re already familiar with. This is our list of the 15 best Italian breakfast foods!

Fette Biscottate

Fette biscottate is an Italian rusk. Rusk is a hard, dry biscuit, or a twice-baked super crispy bread. It is popular in Italy and is widely eaten at breakfast time. It is usually eaten with toppings such as ricotta and fruit, nutella, Fette biscottate is an Italian rusk.

Rusk is a hard, dry biscuit, or a twice-baked super crispy bread. It is made from wheat flour, sugar, milk powder, oil, and water.

It is popular in Italy and is widely eaten at breakfast time. It is usually eaten with toppings such as ricotta and fruit, nutella, marmalade, or cream. It is perfect for dipping in coffee, too!

To describe the texture and flavor, it is like an over-toasted, hard piece of bread, (honestly, they are delicious!) but with a rich sweetness, and a more biscuit/cracker texture than bread. It is not in fact stale, but has the same crunch that toasted bread may have.

It originates from Italy, and is widely sold in pre-packaged packs, waiting to be topped with delicious marmalade!


Brioche is a French type of bread which is a mix between a pastry and bread in consistency. It has a high egg and butter content, making it deliciously soft and sweet. It is a light bread that is airy and slightly puffy. On the exterior, it is golden, with a flaky and soft crust.

Brioche is categorized as a type of viennoiserie, which is a type of baked good including croissants and pain au chocolats.

These are determined as a type of yeast-leavened baked bread that contains butter, suhar, and eggs, making them rich and sweet. Brioche is incredibly versatile, and can have savory options, too.

In Italy, brioche is usually served with fruit, jam, marmalade, or nutella. (In Sicily, it can be eaten with gelato… yes, for breakfast!) The ingredients in brioche are flour, butter, eggs, sugar, milk, cream and a type of yeast.

To give a brief history, brioche has been recorded and eaten since the 1400s! It first developed as a type of bread, and as it gained popularity, bakers and pastry-makers began putting eggs, sugar, and butter in the mix to create the iconic sweet bread.

Brioche is really popular all over Europe, but especially in France, Italy, Spain, and Belgium. They are one of the most popular breakfast items in Europe, and Italians love them. They are perfect with a rich, thick hot chocolate, or a coffee.

Fresh Fruits

Italy has a mediterranean climate, and it is fruitful, pardon the pun! The soil is perfect for growing fresh fruit and vegetables, and this is an important part of Italian culture. Italian culture prioritizes sustainability and growing fresh produce.

Fruit is a popular breakfast item in Italy, and their fruit is delicious, juicy, and flavorsome.

Some of the most popular fruits to eat for breakfast include peaches, nectarines, oranges, pears, figs, apricots, and grapes. Italians love and value fresh fruit, and fruit pairs perfectly with other sweet treats such as pastries, jam, and marmalade.


Croissants are delicious, and most people love them. Croissants are defined as a buttery, rich, and flaky pastry shaped in a crescent and rolled. They are a type of viennoiserie pastry, and actually originate from austria.They are tCroissants are delicious, and most people love them.

This includes Italian people; they eat croissants almost as much as the french! Croissants are defined as a buttery, rich, and flaky pastry shaped in a crescent and rolled.

They are a type of viennoiserie pastry, and actually originate from austria. They are more associated with France, but are a staple part of Mediterranean culture and diet. The texture of a croissant is similar to brioche, and is made up of the same ingredients.

The only difference is, a croissant is softer and flakier, because it is made in a more complex way. The dough is made, and butter is placed on top of the dough, and rolled thin.

This is then folded over, rolled, and folded many times, until it is rolled into a thin sheet of dough. This process is called lamination, and this is what makes the layers of the croissant soft, flaky, and extremely buttery!

They are popular in Austria, France, and Italy, and you can buy them almost anywhere.

They are the perfect breakfast food, because they can be filled with fresh fruit, jam, nutella, or marmalade. They are also popular for lunch, with filling such as mortadella, ham, or cheese. In Italy, a croissant may be known as a cornetto, or a brioche.

They are slightly different in different regions, but croissants are eaten and loved nationwide.


Crespelles are essentially crepes, but an Italian version. They are thin, and can be filled with amazing fillings such as nutella, fruit such as bananas and strawberries, jam, and marmalade.

They are made with flour, eggs, milk, and a pinch of salt. They can also be savory, and are popular stuffed with cheese, parsley, spinach, meat, and more cheese!

They are cooked in the same way as a crepe, but they are simply folded when served, which is what makes them different (and of course they hail from Italy). For a sweet crespelle, you can fill them with fresh fruit, lemon and sugar, or italian favorite nutella.


Biscotti is an Italian hard biscuit which originates from Tuscany, Italy. They may also be known as cantucci, and they contain almonds. They are hard, similar to Italian rusks, and are baked twice to ensure they are crispy, crunchy, and slightly caramelized. They are oblong and long, and they are sometimes dipped in coffee and rich hot chocolate.

To make a traditional biscotti, you need flour, sugar, eggs, pine nuts, and raw almonds. This is then mixed and baked in a tin, then cut and baked again as individual pieces. The modern variation of biscotti is made with almonds, pine nuts, as well as other nuts such as pistachios or hazelnuts.

Spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon are sometimes added, and sometimes baking powder is added to raise the crispy biscuit slightly more.

They are very dry biscuits, but are perfect for breakfast. They can be dunked into coffee, juice, teas, and hot chocolates. They can also be topped with fresh fruit, spreads, and nutella.

Ciambella Romagnola

Ciambella Romagnola is a type of Italian breakfast cake, and it is delicious. It is a cake, but has a similar consistency to bread, and is baked in a dough and loaf rather than a wet mixture in a tin.

The dough can be compared to the dough of a donut. It can be formed into the shape of a ring, or a loaf.

The recipe may differ depending on the location in Italy it is made. It is a rustic cake that is slightly dry and is made to be dipped in coffee, hot chocolate, or sometimes dessert wines.

It is a simple cake to make, with only a few ingredients. These ingredients include flour, fat such as butter or lard, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, milk, and a pinch of salt.

There is not usually sugar in the cake, but as a breakfast food, it is sometimes baked with nutella to make a delicious nutella cake. The cake has a brioche/bread consistency, and is extremely simple to make, and eat! It is best served for breakfast with fruit, nutella, and a hot cup of coffee.


Panettone is an Italian baked good, which can only be defined as a cakey bread! The texture is similar to a dry brioche, but also a fruit cake because it contains lots of fruit. It originated in Milan, and is popular to eat during the celebratory months.

It is popular all over the world, and definitely all over europe. You may also find it made with different ingredients in South America, and Australia.

It can be baked in any form, but is usually shaped as a tall, cylindrical cake. Candied oranges, citron, raisins, lemon zest and other dried fruits are added to the dough.

The dough must be cured for it to be a panettone, so for this reason it is usually mass-produced so it is purchased by cafes and patisseries. The dough is slightly acidic, similar to sourdough, so it needs several days to cure and proof.

The act of proofing the dough means that the cake will be fluffy, and has layers that can be pulled apart. After the dough has proofed successfully, it is baked. Panettone makes a perfect breakfast food, and is often served with more fruit, and dipped in a hot beverage.


Sfogliatella is a popular Italian pastry that is eaten for breakfast and brunch. It originates from Campania, and is filled with sweet cream or nutella. It is shaped like a shell, and appears to have several layers to it. Sfogliatella is not the easiest to make, but is so delicious.

Ingredients include flour, water, and honey as the dough, and milk, sugar, semolina flour, ricotta, egg, vanilla, and candied orange as part of the filling.

The dough is rolled and folded several times to create those flaky layers. The filling is like a sweet cream, but it can also be filled with nutella, jam, ricotta, almond paste and marmalade.

Pane, Burro e Marmellata (Bread, Butter, And Marmalade)

This is a perfect breakfast in Italy; bread, butter, and marmalade. In Italy, their bread is delicious. They have crust loaves such as ciabatta, sourdough and focaccia. They also have some delicious sweet breads such as brioche and panettone.

You will be stuck for choice in Italy! In Italy, they have their bread with rich butter, and jam or marmalade.

Crostata e Torta (Italian Pies And Sweet Tarts)

A crostata is an Italian tart or pie, and is usually filled with jam, ricotta, and fresh fruit. It is a rustic pie, and is delicious for breakfast in italy. As we said, Italians love to eat sweet things for breakfast, and these pies are no exception!

In traditional Italian culture, crostatas have a base, with three layers of dough. A crostata has a chunky filling, hence why it is known as a rustic pie.

Some fillings include ricotta, apricot or cherry preserves, or citrus marmalade. It is also sometimes filled with a sweet cream, and nowadays is filled with nutella, too. Crostatas can also be savory, and these are just as popular for brunch as sweet crostatas are for breakfast.

They can be filled with meats, cheeses and vegetables. One of the most popular types of crostata however, is the ricotta, lemon and sugar filling.

A torta is also a type of tart, and is filled with ingredients that are all blended together, to create a solid filling. It is a layered Tuscan tart that can be filled with basically anything, sweet or savory. It is usually served with savory fillings, such as eggs, spinach, and prosciutto.


Yoghurts are just as popular in Italy as they are in the States and other parts of the world. Italians enjoy yoghurts for breakfast along with fresh fruit, toast or brioche, or with cereals.

They enjoy yogurts with a cup of hot coffee, and they have several popular flavors. Some of these include strawberry, apricot, banana, and raspberry. They pair perfectly with their fresh fruit counterparts.


Although it is not the most popular breakfast food, cereal is widely eaten in Italy for breakfast. Cereal may be a choice for when you need a quick breakfast in Italy. Nutella is Italian, so we know that Italians love their chocolate.

Some of their most popular cereals include ‘chokella’ which are crispy chocolate filled treats with a smooth chocolate inside, ‘chocapic’, which is crispy chocolate shells, as well as their ‘vitalis’, which is chocolate pieces with crispy rice pops, almonds and oats.


Frittata is an Italian egg dish. Although it’s not typically served for breakfast, it has been a staple part of the Italian diet scene for hundreds of years. Italians would typically have this for lunch or even dinner.

A frittata is similar to a quiche, or an omelet. It is eggs, scrambled and baked, with fillings such as tomatoes, spinach, meat, broccoli and potatoes. It is often topped with cheese and baked or broiled. The word frittata translates to ‘fried’ in italian, as the frittata is often fried in a pan, as well as the oven.

Up until around 50 years ago, frittatas were regarded as the same as omelets in most parts of Europe, but they have now been recognized as different. One of the most common differences between an omelet and a frittata is the cubed potatoes usually present in a frittata.

Frittatas also tend to be thicker, and slightly bigger. They are still popular in Italy, and are eaten for breakfast or lunch because they are light and on the healthier side.

Baked Eggs And Sausage

Italians usually eat sweet things for breakfast, but they are known for their baked eggs, with topping such as sausages and cheese. The eggs are usually served in a marinara sauce with herbs, and are baked, topped with cheese, herbs, and sausages.

They are truly delicious, and are best served with a piece of crusty bread and a hot black coffee. The baked eggs are filled with fresh tomatoes, basil, and creamy ricotta and parmesan.


Italians often only have a small amount of food, along with coffee, fruit juice, or hot chocolate (or more than one of these). In Italy, they drink a lot of coffee, as well as orange juice. They are also known for their thick, chocolatey hot chocolate.

All of these dishes we’ve listed pair perfectly with a rich hot chocolate, or a delicious smooth coffee. Italian cuisine is amazing, and these dishes should be devoured!

We hope this article can provide you with some ideas about what Italians love to eat for breakfast, and what you would expect to find in the morning in Italy.

Rick Zullo

Former doctor, current science teacher, and life-long food lover, Rick's passion for Mediterranean cuisine was ignited while living as an expat in Rome, Italy. 


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