Coffee in Italy


Coffee is very popular in Italy and there are many varieties of it. Do you know them all? Let’s learn some of the most common coffee varieties!

Tipi di caffè in Italia

caffe espresso caffeina 700x350 1 - Coffee in Italy

Caffè espresso


The caffè espresso is the classic Italian coffee served in a small cup. When you order it, you don’t need to say espresso, just caffè. Vorrei un caffè – and you’ll get an espresso! This is actually the first important thing you need to know about Italian coffee: coffee in Italy is always an espresso.


The caffè ristretto is a very concentred espresso, so it’s shorter. The opposite is the caffè lungo, that has a bit more water and therefor longer. The caffè doppio is a double espresso, so you’ll get twice an espresso in your small cup. You can add a couple of things in your coffee: if you add a dash of milk you’ll have a caffè macchiato – depending on whether the milk is hot or cold you’ll have a macchiato caldo or freddo; if you add a dash of liquor, like sambuca or grappa, you’ll have a caffè corretto.

macchiato - Coffee in Italy

Caffè macchiato


These are all coffees you’ll get in a small cup: the Italian tazzina. If you want a long coffee like what you get in Starbucks, then you should order a caffè americano. This is an espresso diluted with hot water. Usually it’s something for tourists, since almost no Italian drinks it. In addition, In Italy it’s also very popular il caffè d’orzo, made with barley beans, and il caffè al ginseng, derived from pure ginseng root. The German filter coffee, caffè filtro in Italian, is not very common in Italy.

The caffellatte is almost like a cappuccino, but it doesn’t have the milk foam. It’s also served in a bigger cup, but sometimes you’ll get it in a glass. The latte macchiato is made of a lot of milk with a dash of coffee and served in a glass.

Of course this are not all varieties of coffee you can find in Italy, but these are very common varieties that are useful for you to know. Do you know another variety of Italian coffee? Tell us in the comments!

Home coffee: the moka pot

moka colazione - Coffee in Italy

Caffè con la moka (Bialetti)


There is one thing that should not be missing in an Italian house: la moka! This is the pot for preparing Italian coffee at home. Just add some ground coffee and water, put it on the stove and after a few minutes your Italian coffee is ready!

Coffee made with a Moka is not an espresso, because not enough pressure can be generated. The taste is slightly different and unlike a real espresso, it does not produce a stable crema. This coffee is called Caffè Moka, but in Italy it is simply called Caffè, just like Caffè Espresso. Since it is common in Italy to prepare coffee at home with a moka pot, but to go to a bar for an espresso, the respective meaning of Caffè is derived from the context: at home this means the coffee prepared with the moka pot, outside the home this is the Caffè Espresso.

Important: Do not confuse this Italian coffee with mocha, the Turkish coffee (in Italian Caffè turco)!

Of course you should drink the Italian coffee in a small tazzina. Do you already have a Moka pot and tazzine at home? If not, this could be a good purchase for your next trip to Italy! In case you’re wondering which ones to buy, we’ll give you a tip: Bialetti is the inventor of the moka and definitely the most popular Italian moka brand.

Would you like to learn how to order a coffee in Italy? Read our lesson about ordering in a café.

Would you like to know more about the breakfast habits of the Italians? Read our article What do Italians eat for breakfast?

Picture sources:,,,,, livitaly, thegadgetflow

Talk about your breakfast

Learn useful expressions and vocabulary to talk about your breakfast habits in Italian. Where do you have breakfast? With whom? What do you eat and drink? How often do you have breakfast? La mia colazione: my breakfast in Italian.


Dove fai colazione?

Where do you have breakfast?

A casaAt home
Al barAt the café

Con chi fai colazione?

With whom do you have breakfast?

da solo | da solaalone (man | woman)
con mio marito | mia mogliewith my husband | my wife
con mio figlio | mia figlia | i miei figliwith my son | my daughter | my children
con la mia famigliawith my family

Cosa mangi / bevi per colazione?

What do you eat / drink for breakfast?

Il caffè con lo zucchero | senza zuccheroCoffee with sugar / without sugar
Il caffè con un goccio di latteCoffee with a dash of milk
Il tè con i biscottiTee with biscuits
Il latte con i cerealiMilk with cereals
Un bicchiere di spremuta | di succoA glass of fresh-squeezed juice / of juice
Il pane con la marmellataBread with jam
Il pane con formaggi e affettatiBread with cheeses and cold cuts
Le uova con la pancettaEggs with bacon

Quanto spesso fai colazione?

How often do you have breakfast?

Faccio colazione ogni mattina.I have breakfast every morning.
Faccio spesso colazione.I often have breakfast.
Faccio colazione qualche volta.I have breakfast sometimes | occasionally.
Faccio colazione raramente.I rarely eat breakfast.
Non faccio mai colazione.I never eat breakfast.

Learn more in our article frequency adverbs


La mia colazione tipica

Do you have breakfast like an Italian? Do the test!

Vorrei un caffè: How to order a coffee

Learn how to order in a café in Italian: It’s very easy! Place an order and say you want to pay. Don’t miss our videocorso 2, where Fiona and Romeo going into a café.

Order in a café

Dialogo: Al bar

A:Buongiorno! Cosa desiderate?Good morning! What do you wish?
B:Per me un caffè macchiato e un cornetto.For me a macchiato and a croissant.
A:Con la marmellata o con la crema?With jam or cream?
B:Con la crema, per favore.With cream, please.
A:E per Lei?And for you?
C:Anch’io prendo un cornetto con la crema… e un cappuccino, per favore.I’ll take a croissant with cream, too… and a Cappuccino, please.
A:Bene, allora un caffè macchiato, un cappuccino e due cornetti con la crema.Well, then a macchiato, a cappuccino and two croissants with cream.

Order in a café

To place an order there are four possibilities, all good and pretty similar in the meaning:

Vorrei …
Per me …
Prendo …
… , per favore.

Vorrei un cappuccino.I’d like a cappuccino.
Per me un caffè macchiato.For me a macchiato.
Prendo un cornetto.I take a croissant.
Un succo, per favore.A juice, please.
io prendonoi prendiamo
tu prendivoi prendete
lui, lei prendeloro prendono

Say you want to pay

It’s time to pay! What could you say?

Scusi! Vorrei pagare.
Il conto, per favore.

Scusi!Excuse me!
Vorrei pagare.I’d like to pay.
Il conto, per favore.The check, please.


1. Ordinare al bar

2. Pagare

Spare time • Il tempo libero

What do you like doing in your spare time? Learn vocabulary about hobbies and leisure activities in Italian. Spare time in Italian.

Spare time in Italian • Il tempo libero

ItalianoBello tempo libero - Spare time • Il tempo libero
leggereto read
guardare la TVto watch TV
dipingereto paint
disegnareto draw
fare giardinaggioto garden
cantareto sing
ascoltare la musicato listen to music
fare foto (fotografie)to take photos
mangiareto eat
cucinareto cook
andare in bici (bicicletta)to bike
fare sportto do sport
giocare a calcio to play football
giocare ai videogiochito play videogames
suonare la chitarrato play guitar
suonare il pianoto play piano
imparare l’italianoto learn Italian
fare passeggiateto go for a walk
portare a spasso il caneto walk the dog
uscire con gli amicito go out with friends
stare con la mia famigliato stay with my family
navigare su internetto surf the Internet
chattare con gli amicito chat with friends


Cosa ti piace fare nel tempo libero?
Tell us in the comments!

Illustrations credits: gstudioimagen


Do you have breakfast like an Italian? – Personality test

Do you have breakfast like an Italian? Try the test and discover it!

This test is based on an interview where Italians were asked about their breakfast habits. After having done the test, read the results of the interview and learn more about Italian habits.
You don’t know the vocabulary for talking about breakfast? Learn it here.

breakfast like an Italian?

Do you have breakfast like an Italian?

Interview results

See the results of the interviews to see which are the breakfast habits of the Italians here.

Illustration credits: Freepik

What do Italians have for breakfast?

This is a reading comprehension about what do Italian have for breakfast. Try to understand the general meaning of the text with the help of graphics and do the exercise. Finally click on Translate to check if you’ve understand well and to learn the words you didn’t know.

Have you already done the test?

Do you have breakfast like an Italian? Do the test!

Italian breakfast: interview results

The website YouGov has interviewed almost a thousand Italians on the topic of colazione. Let’s look at the results together!

1. Fai colazione?

colazione - What do Italians have for breakfast?

L’85% degli intervistati fa colazione ogni mattina. L’11% invece la fa solo ogni tanto, mentre solo il 4% non fa mai colazione.
DOVE? Gli intervistati fanno colazione principalmente a casa (84%), mentre l’11% degli intervistati fa colazione al bar.

85% of respondents have breakfast every morning. 11% only have breakfast once in a while, while only 4% never have breakfast. WHERE? Respondents eat breakfast mainly at home (84%), while 11% of respondents eat breakfast at the café.

2. Cosa bevi per colazione?

bevande colazione - What do Italians have for breakfast?

Per quanto riguarda le bevande, la bevanda preferita è il caffè, bevuto dal 62% degli intervistati. Segue il latte (38%). Le bevande che mischiano latte e caffè, ovvero cappuccino e marocchino, sono scelti dal 29% degli intervistati. Al quarto posto si trovano la spremuta e il succo di frutta. Il  è il quinto in classifica (23%). Poco amate per colazione sono le tisane (6%), le bevande vegetali (5%), frullati (4%), centrifughe/estratti e le acque aromatizzate (2%).

As for drinks, the preferred drink is coffee, drunk by 62% of respondents. Milk follows (38%). Drinks that mix milk and coffee, i.e. Cappuccino and Marocchino, are chosen by 29% of respondents. In fourth place are fresh-squeezed juice and juice. Tea is the fifth in the ranking (23%). Less popular for breakfast are herbal teas (6%), vegetable drinks (5%), smoothies (4%), centrifuges/extracts and flavored waters (2%).

3. Cosa mangi per colazione?

cibo colazione - What do Italians have for breakfast?

Il 44% delle persone che fanno colazione la preferisce completamente dolce. Solo il 7% fa una colazione salata. I cibi preferiti per colazione sono biscotti, brioches/muffin, fette biscottate e cereali. Seguono lo yogurt (27%) e il pane con la marmellata o creme spalmabili dolci (24%). Fra i prodotti salati più amati per colazione ci sono il toast (10%), affettati e uova (6%) e formaggi (5%).

44% of people who have breakfast prefer it completely sweet. Only 7% have a salty breakfast. Favourite foods for breakfast are biscuits, brioches/muffins, rusks and cereals. This is followed by yoghurt (27%) and bread with jam or sweet spreads (24%). Among the most popular savoury products for breakfast are toast (10%), sliced meats and eggs (6%) and cheese (5%).


Source: YouGov

Italian grammar

Plural of nouns

How to form the plural of nouns in Italian? Let’s learn the rules!

Plural of nouns in Italian

In Italian there are three noun classes: O nouns, mostly masculine, like il libro, A nouns, mostly feminine, like la casa and E nouns, both masculine and feminine, like il padre and la madre. The plural is obtained by changing the ending of the singular form. The plural endings are only two: -i and -e. Look at the table:

O > Iil libroi libri
A > Ela casale case
E > Iil padre
la madre
i padri
le madri

Actually, the rule is very simple. Let’s look at some examples of plural building!

Plural of nouns: O > I

Nouns ending with O are mostly masculine. The plural is formed by transforming the O into an I.

il biscottoi biscottibiscuit
il paninoi paninisandwich
il piattoi piattidish
l’amicogli amici(male) friend
il gattoi gatticat
l’alberogli alberitree
il monumentoi monumentimonument
il succoi succhijuice
il vinoi viniwine

We’ve learnt here that in Italian there are some exceptions, like il problema. These are masculine words ending with A.
The plural of these nouns end with I:

il problemai problemiproblem
il turistai turistitourist
il papai papipope

Plural of nouns: A > E

Nouns ending with A are mostly feminine. The plural is formed by transforming the A into a E.

la tazzale tazzecup, mug
la spremutale spremutefresh-squeezed juice
la bottigliale bottigliebottle
la birrale birrebeer
l’amicale amiche(female) friend
la stellale stellestar
la serale sereevening
la rivistale rivistemagazine

Plural of nouns: E > I

Nouns ending with E can be both feminine or masculine. Regardless of gender, the plural is formed by transforming the E into an I.

il bicchierei bicchieriglass
il ristorantei ristorantirestaurant
il fiorei fioriflower
il giornalei giornalinewspaper
la lucele lucilight
la volpele volpifox
la navele naviship

Unchangeable nouns

In some cases, nouns remain unchanged. Nouns remain unchanged, if they…

end with a consonantil bari barcafé, coffee shop
il filmi filmmovie
end with a stressed vowelil papài papàdad
la cittàle cittàcity
are abbreviationsla foto (la fotografia)le foto (le fotografie)photo
l’auto (l’automobile)le auto (le automobili)car