La giornata in un bar italiano, a day in an Italian bar. We are going to learn what people drink and eat in an Italian bar throughout the day. Listen and repeat after the audio files and solve the final quiz.
The Italian bar is a cultural institution, a place where people socialize, have business meetings or a romantic date, watch a “calcio” match on TV or simply have a quick espresso for resetting their mind. Let’s see what people drink and eat during the day.
6 am – noon
Most Italian bars open between 5 and 6 am, when people wake up and commute to work. The Italian breakfast isn’t as rich as the British or American one. At home, people usually have a caffelatte, a simple coffee and milk in a bowl, with biscuits or fette biscottate, sliced toasted bread with jam or honey. In any Italian bar, you see customers lining at the counter or “al banco”, having a cappuccino e brioche, a simple cappuccino with a pastry. If you want an orange juice, you may want to try the spremuta d’arancia, freshly squeezed oranges. Some people take it easy and sit “al tavolo”, at the table, reading the daily newspaper, il quotidiano. The Italian breakfast though is usually fast.
There are few different types of pastry, but the most common one is the croissant. In northern Italy we use the French word brioche and in central-sountern Italy we call it cornetto, from the word corna, horns. It can be filled with cream, cornetto alla crema, jam, cornetto alla marmellata, or chocolate, cornetto al cioccolato. The colazione goes on until 10, when the last few people have breakfast.
Then many Italians take a break in the middle of the morning for the so called, pausa caffè, coffee break. In every city it is common to see people dressed in suites or groups of workers having an espresso, in Italian simply called caffè. After 11, having a cappuccino is considered unusual, because it’s really a breakfast drink.
Use the space bar for pausing the audio files
BREAKFAST – COLAZIONE
- il caffè
- il cappuccino
- la spremuta d’arancia
- il caffelatte
- la brioche
- alla crema
- alla marmellata
- al cioccolato
- al banco
- al tavolo
- il quotidiano
- la pausa caffè
Noon to 6 pm
Of course you can have lunch in any Italian bar. There are two main categories of bars serving lunch.
Tavola fredda literally “cold table”, is a bar serving only cold food like panini, the famous Italian sandwiches, affettati Italian cured meats like prosciutto and salame; insalata the Italian salads, including insalata di riso and insalata di pasta, cold pasta and rice with pickled vegetables, tuna and other ingredients. Tavola fredda is a good place in summertime, for a fresh and quick meal.
Tavola calda “hot table”, is a bar serving some hot food, in addition to cold dishes normally available at lunch, mainly primi piatti like pasta, risotto, lasagne, parmgiana di melanzane etc. A tavola calda bar is usually bigger than a tavola fredda, because they have a small kitchen, but it’s still a bar. So, the food you get in a tavola calda is good for a quick lunch, but normally not as good as a trattoria or an osteria, typical small local restaurants. This is not a rule of course. You can find good bars and bad trattoria’s.
Both tavola calda and fredda usually propose a menù fisso, a fixed price menu with a dish or two, with coperto (bread and service), bevande (drinks) and a coffee. Tutto incluso! All included.
After lunch, barmen, i baristi, get ready for the afternoon and evening drinks, l’aperitivo.
LUNCH – PRANZO
- la tavola fredda
- il panino
- gl affettati
- la tavola calda
- i primi piatti
- il barista
- il menù fisso
- l’insalata di pasta
- il coperto
- le bevande
- tutto incluso
The city of Milan is nicknamed Milano da bere, a city to drink, because it is very famous for the evening aperitivo. The aperitivo is a meeting with friends and colleagues after the office hours. The aperitivo is not just drinking time. Food is everywhere and it’s free. Aperitivo is popular in Italy, but in Milano it is so common and the competition so fierce that customers can eat for free almost everywhere. If you order a drink, you can help yourself with free stuzzichini, appetizers.
We are not talking about peanuts (noccioline) and chips (patatine), but small panini, pasta, rice, vegetables and dips, meatballs, and other finger food. At the end of the aperitivo, it is often not necessary to go home and have dinner. People stay out for a couple of more drinks and enjoy free time with their friends. Evereyone wins!
Italian bars in small cities usually close around dinner time. After the aperitivo, people go home. Bars serving the aperitivo in bigger cities, usually stay open until 2 am.
Milano is the city of Campari, Torino of Martini, Venezia is home to Spritz cocktail and Prosecco sparkling wine, nothing to envy to French champagne. As a matter of fact, Prosecco is now more sold than Champagne in North America and other countries.
- gli stuzzichini
- Milano da bere
- il campari
- il martini
- lo spritz
- il prosecco
PAROLE UTILI – USEFUL WORDS
- cioccolata calda – hot chocolate
- succo di frutta – fruit juice
- barista – barman
- tè – tea
- senape – mustard
- prenotazione – reservation
- un bicchiere di – a glass of
- una caraffa di – a pitcher of
- una bottiglia di – a bottle of
- un cestino di pane – a basket of bread
- i grissini – bread sticks
- acqua gassata – sparkling water
We hope this article about the typical Italian bar was useful. Please take some time for solving the quiz below about “Il bar italiano”. Click on start and allow a few seconds for the quiz to load