Life/ Zelda Elisco: Coffee Break in Italia

Coffee Break in Italia

One of my favorite aspects of the Italian culture is their daily coffee breaks.  When I first arrived in Italy,  one of the first habits of the Italian lifestyle that I noticed was the necessity to drink coffee throughout the day. Coming from the perspective of someone who never liked coffee, I found this habit a little silly.  However, after six long months in Italy, and many hours a day dreaming at cafes, I have come to know this side of the culture well.

As one might imagine, after a blissful six months in Italy, I too, have succumbed to the coffee habit.  The routine has somehow fit itself perfectly into my weekly schedule, and has become something I greatly look forward to.  I have learned to enjoy a quick cappuccino while walking to class, or sit with a good book on a Friday afternoon and people watch.

It is important to mention that drinking coffee in Italy is an entirely different experience than ordering a Starbucks through a drive through on your way to work.  Cafes in Italy rarely have “to-go” plastic cups, or even assume you are going to be walking the streets with your hot beverage. Instead, Italian’s prefer to drink their coffee one of two ways; at the bar or seated with a good conversation.

When on the go, Italians tend to drink their espressos much like a college student takes a shot of vodka, quick and all at once. Those who have the time to sit and read the newspaper, or chat with the barista, tend to sit at a table.   

On top of the social standards that accompany coffee breaks, the range of whats offered on a menu in Italy is much more concise. The simplicity of the every menu creates a seamless consistency throughout the entire country.  Whether in Venice or Naples, you can be sure to find an amazing espresso Instead of sugar-loaded frappucinos, Italian’s prefer a simple espresso, cappuccino or macchiato.  And boy, do they taste good.  Coffee throughout all of Italy is twice as flavorful than American coffee, which is often preferred as by Italians as, “dirty water.”  Whenever I order a cappuccino, I am taken back at the glow of the caramel brown espresso against the whipped, crisp white of the milk.


Zelda is an Environmental Science student from California who is currently studying abroad in Italy. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, photography and painting. In addition to attending school in Italy, she also manages a travel blog where she documents her experience abroad and discusses culture, food, and her adventures. 

Zelda e una Americana di California. Lei studia Environmental Science, e anche abita in Italia. Quando lei ha tempo libero, lei piace cucinare, photographia, e dipengere. Anche, lei ha una giornale su online, dove lei scriva a sua vita in Italia.