This October, when we visited Italy after a couple of days of near-starvation in Croatia, we found ourselves looking forward to our included ‘breakfasts’ at the B&Bs that we were booked at.
Clearly, I’d forgotten what breakfast in Italy means.
The Italians, for some reason, interpret ‘breakfast’ as ‘sugar kick time’ and will offer you a sweet cornetto (croissant / other pastry) dusted generously with powdered sugar (because all that chocolate / marmalade alone is just not sweet enough) and a cappuccino or a caffe. That’s it – a pastry and a coffee – no more, no less. Because the Italians are too fabulous for nutrition, darlings. Ask for the coffee without sugar, of course.
While I have a notorious sweet tooth or two (or sweet teeth, as I call them), I’ll admit that the early morning chocolate-and-sugar overload did sometimes prove to be a challenge for me. It also left me slightly baffled – maybe this is the secret behind all those skinny Italian women. The heavy-breakfast person that I am, I’d often find myself dreaming of the massive Turkish breakfast spreads from my holiday there.
I did get used to these ‘mini-meals’ after a couple of days (and to help things along, the chocolate was always delicious). If you can, I’d recommend getting your breakfast at a cafe in a working-class neighbourhood early in the morning (7 – 8 AM) as the locals grab their breakfasts over a chat with the cafe owner. No bonus food to fill your rumbling stomachs, but lots of musical Italian conversation to fill your ears with. Ciao ciao!