CHIAVARI, Italy - After an overnight train ride from Paris, Joe, Stephanie and I were starving when we arrived in Venice early in the morning. After we checked into our hotel the first thing we wanted to do was eat – preferably something that resembled breakfast. French food hadn’t particularly appealed to them, but Italian food they knew and they wanted some. Surely the Italians would have something delicious for the most important meal of the day.
|Breakfast Italian Style|
Thus began our unsuccessful adventure of breakfast hunting in Venice. There were plenty of bars but none of them advertised anything that resembled pancakes, let alone sausages or anything else that said breakfast to us. Then there it was, a bar with a sign that said “toast”. We looked at each other and said, “okay, it’s not pancakes but if there’s toast they may have eggs, if they have eggs they may have sausage.” It was definitely worth a try.
|Extra Flaky Sfogliatelle|
The much anticipated “toast” turned out to be very thin, very flat, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. We ate them and ordered another round, raising more than a few eyebrows in the process. And so began our first lesson on breakfast in Italy.
Since then, I’ve come to appreciate, which doesn’t mean understand, Italian breakfasts. For a country that is so focused on fresh fruits and vegetables, cookies and milky coffee just doesn’t seem like a healthy way to start your day, but who am I to mess with tradition. So in the spirit of all things Italian, here is Italy’s prime food and wine magazine, Gambero Rosso’s list of the five top bars in Italy for the quintessential Italian breakfast, brioche/pastry and cappuccino.
|A Roman Speciality, Cream Filled Maritozzi|
|Caffe' San Marco, Trieste|
In second place is one of Trieste’s historic bars, the Caffè San Marco. Among the specialties of the café, as well as the city of Trieste, is a small shot glass of rich coffee served with hot milk and a lot of foam, called Capo in B. Capo, in this case, stands for cappuccino, while B is for bicchiere, which is “a glass” in Italian. When you put them together you get a tiny cappuccino in a tiny glass.
|Bar of the Year 2015 - Bedussi, Brescia|
|Cozy Pave', Milano|
Fourth place goes to the Milanese bar, Pave’. Pave’ has that clubby, comfortable living room feel the Milanese like. Pair that homey atmosphere with an outstanding selection of pastries and cappuccino that will knock your socks off, and it’s easy to see why Pave’ qualified to be on this best of Italy list.
|The Biggest Parrozzo in the World|