If you are planning a visit to Italy, then it is important that you get yourself ready for their wonderful cuisine. It is not only the people and the place that is going to capture your heart when you get to Italy. Their offerings of the plate are going to get you hooked too.

Of course, you will realize that the Italians do tend to have their way of approaching meals. They have their own Italian cuisine meal structure. So, to get you ready for the likely feast that will be served to you when you get there, understanding what the structure is would benefit you very well.

The different meals

The Italians start their day with breakfast or colozione. It is notable that they tend to start their day the continental way. Caffeine is usually consumed in the form of a cafe or their version of an espresso. Food is usually light. In many cases, corneti is served which is a pastry that is very much like a croissant that is served with either jam or custard in it or plain.

Lunch or pranzo can be as varied as they come. Different places in Italy do tend to serve their variation of lunch. In most cases though, most Italians like the idea of a long lunch on Sunday. They also take merenda or are also referred to an afternoon snack.

Meal structure for lunch or dinner

It is important to take note of the structure in which lunch or dinner is served. Though this is a generalization, it should help one get a better glimpse f what dining is like in the Italian shores.


This is what opens the meal. In many cases, this is taken standing up as it is usually in the form of nibbles as well as some short drink. It is very much like sitting down with friends and enjoying a glass of wine in the house bar before heading out to the dining room to properly sit down and enjoy the meal.


This is considered as the more robust starter. In many cases, mozzarella, cold meat, bruschetta, and salads are often served.

Primo Piatto

This part of the meal usually sees pasta dishes or pizza being served. It should be noted that the tow is not considered as the main meal by Italians. They usually come between the starter and the main.

Secundo Piatto

This is considered as the main course. It is also referred to as Piatto principle. It is that part of the meal where either fish or meat is served.

Final Words

It is important to note that unlike other meals where side dishes are going to be served with the main dish, here they do not. So, they need to be ordered separately. You have the choice to order a cotorno or a side dish which can be a vegetable dish. Formaggi e Frutta is fruit and cheese that is usually served before the dessert. Dolce is, of course, dessert and you can also choose to order a Caffe e digestive which is coffee along with an after-dinner drink.

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