How To Order Coffee In Italy


How To order Coffee In Italy

I thought about titling this post “the Beginner’s Guide To Coffee Culture In Italy”, because coffee is actually part of the culture in Italy. Standing at the bar in a coffee shop, knocking back an espresso (un caffe) is part of the social fabric in this very social country, and if you get the system and your order down, it adds to the magic of your experience in Italy.

The first thing to know is that coffee in Italy is nothing like Starbucks.

Drinks for the most part come in one size and are supposed to be consumed onsite. Stomping your foot and demanding a venti will get you exactly nowhere – venti means 20 in Italian. You will be served your drink in a real cup, not a paper cup. Italians don’t walk around eating and drinking in the streets like we do in the US. It’s fabulous.

The second thing to know is that there is a system that you need to follow.

When you walk into a café (coffee bar) check out the situation before walking up to the bar. I most big city places you will need to pay the cashier first. He will give you a receipt that you will take up to the bar to order with. In smaller coffee shops you can order and pay at the bar.

If you are going to eat something – a pastry, a biscotto, a sandwich for example you need to scope out whats behind the glass before you pay for your order. Have a look, decide what you want and then go tell it to the cashier. Normally everything in a given food category costs the same. Panini are equally priced, all the pastries are one price etc, but there can be variables, so it doesn’t hurt to check first.

Now with your receipt in hand, muscle up to the bar and get the barista’s attention. He or she will grab your receipt, ask you what you’re having, and then tear it so they know the order has been filled.

There are 2 prices for the coffee you are ordering. One is for having it standing at the bar and the other is for taking it to sit at a table. Italians drink their coffee standing at the bar.

It should be noted at this point that a coffee in Italy (un caffe ) is what we here in the states call a shot of espresso.

Related Post: How To Make Coffee In a Moka

What To Order

There is no equivalent in Italy to American drip coffee. You also won’t find Coffeemate or flavored coffee creamers. Italian coffee ruins you – it is so incredibly good. After a break in Italy it is near impossible to go back to drinking Starbucks.

The way to ask for your order is to say “un caffe per favore”. In a busy joint you can get away with just saying the name of the drink you want, but you probably will have to get the barista’s attention.

Un Caffe / a coffee.

coffee in Italy


A coffee is a shot of espresso. It will be served to you in a little cup on a saucer with a teaspoon for sugar. Normally they will also give you a small glass of water on the side.


coffee in Italy

Lunch in Marzamemi finishes with a coffee, or what we would call an espresso


Un Macchiato.


A macchiato at Tazza D’Oro in Rome

This is nothing like the huge sugary confection served stateside. It’s a shot of espresso stained (made macchiato) with a drop of milk. If you want the milk to be hot and foamed ask for Macchiato Caldo. This is still served in a little espresso cup.


Un Caffe Con Panna.

This is similar to a macchiato but is sweeter, and instead of milk is topped with a dollop of whipped cream.


Un Cappuccino (or Cappuccio).

cappuccino and panforte

Breakfast in Florence. A cappuccino and a slice of panforte


This is served in a bigger cup, but still not as large as an American tall. A cappuccino is a shot of espresso with foamed milk. Italians only drink this at breakfast time til mid morning. They cringe at the thought of milk sitting on a full stomach. Being that you probably are not his first tourist your barista will happily make you cappuccinos all day long.

Caffe Americano.


Caffe Americano

Caffe Americano at Gilli in Florence

This is the closest thing you will get to an American drip coffee. Sort of. It’s a shot of espresso with hot water added. It will still be much stronger than coffee at home.

This drink is strictly for the tourists – no Italian would be caught dead drinking it.

Un Lungo/Caffe Lungo.

You can ask for a caffe lungo (long) for a slightly weaker version.

Un Corretto or Caffe Corretto.

This is “corrected” coffee, said coffee being corrected with a shot of liquor. This could be grappa, brandy, Sambuca, Cognac or I’m sure anything that you would prefer.

Granita Al Caffe


Caffe Granita

Granita is a cold coffee that comes out of a slushy style machine. Its very creamy and smooth and delicious.

Coffee In Naples


I personally think Italian coffee is the best coffee in the world. In all my travels around the globe I have never had better coffee, or coffee that I have loved better, anywhere.


Kimbo Coffee In Naples

Kimbo is a brand of coffee I see more in Naples than anywhere else.


Within Italy the best coffee I have ever had has been in Naples. I make sure to allow coffee time every time I pass through, even if its just a quick espresso at the train station. But beware – coffee in Naples is strong!

Italians pop into a bar (café/coffee shop) multiple times per day. It’s a fun habit to take part in! If espresso seems too strong to start with just load it up with sugar. You will get the swing of it and develop a taste for it in no time, and before you know it you’ll either be drinking it straight or with just a little sugar before you know it.


I bring home between 5 and 10 pounds of Italian coffee every time I go to Italy. I buy Lavazza Crema E Gusto or Illy You can order both here on Amazon, but they cost a bit more, although they’re still not expensive.

Related Posts:

10 Things You Absolutely MUST Do In Florence

10 Things You Absolutely MUST Do In Rome

16 Luscious Italian Words And Phrases You need In Your Life

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How To Order Coffee In Italy

How To Order Coffee In Italy


How To Order Coffee In Italy

Wonderful Gift Ideas For Travelers Who Love Italy

Do you have someone on your gift list who is an Italy lover or who is planning a trip to Italy? Today’s post is all about great gift ideas for anyone who loves Italy.

Whether you are need Cyber Monday shopping ideas or whether you just need some inspiration for what to buy an Italy lover, here are some fabulous ideas. This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links and it also features my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy: Secrets To Glamorous Travel (On A Not So Glamorous Budget) , because of course I want everyone to get a copy! If your person has a Kindle device or has the Kindle App on their smartphone/tablet/laptop you can gift them (or yourself) the eBook version for only $5.99. It is discounted through the Christmas shopping season.

Gifts For The Coffee Lover

Wonderful gift ideas for anyone who loves Italy or who wants to travel to Italy. Especially great for coffee lovers!

Curl up with a good book (great book!) and a fabulous cup of Italian coffee while you dream of going to Italy.  My favorite coffee is Lavazza Crema E Gusto . I buy it every time I’m in Italy, bring back about 10 pounds of it in my suitcase, and then when I run out I buy it on Amazon. This is a hearty, rich, full flavored coffee but it isn’t at all bitter the way some strong coffees are. It is really delicious and everyone who tries it loves it. I buy it in packs of 4 but the 2 pack is still good value. Try the Lavazza 2 Pack Crema E Gusto Ground Coffee 8.8oz/250g Each

I make my coffee most mornings in a french press. I have used the Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker for years. It has been the gold standard in french press coffee makers for as long as I can remember. I received this Alfred But First Coffee French Press Coffee Maker in my Fall 2018 Fab Fit Fun Subscription Box and found it here  on too. It’s fun don’t you think? I start my day thinking …but first, coffee...


the Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine is the perfect at-home coffee maker. Make espressos or lattes or capuccinos at home

The other way I make coffee at home is with my Nespresso machine, pictured here. Mine is the Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine which is their smallest one, but I find it brilliant. I have had it for years and it runs beautifully. If I ever had to replace it or buy a second one I would stick with the Inissia.I buy coffee pods whenever I’m in Europe – they cost half of the price here, so if your person is a traveler consider the original series machines rather than the Vertuo-line machines, which are not available in Europe. Not only are the Vertuo-line pods more expensive than the regular ones, (for the exact same cup of coffee no less) but you can’t buy them in Europe.

I love running into Nespresso stores when I’m over there because not only does it save me money on the pods, but also they have flavors we don’t have here, and limited edition coffees that are fun to bring home. If you are not sure which coffee pods to choose you can get a Nestle Nespresso Variety Pack which has a few of each strength and flavor. Personally I drink the Nespresso OriginalLine: Arpeggio coffee, which is the one in the purple pods. Its a really good place to start if you’re not sure what to buy. Arpeggio is a nice, full bodied coffee that is not at all bitter. If I want a medium strength coffee I buy the Nespresso OriginalLine: Roma. Roma is great for an afternoon coffee – it doesn’t keep me awake at night.


Gift Ideas For Wine Lovers

Channel your inner Olivia Pope with a glass of red wine and some popcorn, and a really good book!

Who wouldn’t want to channel their inner Olivia Pope on a cold winter’s night with a glass of red wine and some designer popcorn (and a good book!)?? You can buy the Grand Beaujolais (Set of 4) Wine Glasses that Olivia drinks her red wine from, or maybe some Bordeaux wine glasses like the one pictured above,  similar here , Amazon has a huge selection of wine glasses perfect for gifting.

There are lots of designer popcorns to chose from, or you could make it simple with Dutchman’s Popcorn – Medium Hulless White Popcorn Kernels   a non GMO popcorn that can be made on the stovetop, in the microwave or in an air popper.


Red wine from Puglia

Another great gift pairing with my book is a really great bottle of Italian wine. Not available on Amazon but available in most wine stores, try something a little different. Wines from Puglia (the thin heel of Italy’s boot) are just fantastic. I write about them in my book, with ideas of which ones to try. There is an entire chapter of the book devoted to which wines you should drink in each region of Italy. The one pictured here was actually a gift from one of my Glam Italia Tour travelers and is a Nero di Troia from Puglia, which I am saving to drink on my birthday in December.

If you haven’t read it yet I hope you will buy my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy: Secrets To Glamorous Travel (On A Not So Glamorous Budget)  It is a fabulous book, full of really great information for anyone planning a trip to Italy (or just dreaming about it!). It was only released in July of this year but has already been a best seller and has topped the charts in several categories.

If you are thinking about planing a trip to Italy or just want to know more about my book without being on an Amazon sales page, you can find out more here

Bonus Info

In my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy I talk about a questionnaire I use when planning my Glam Italia Tours or helping people to plan their Italian vacations. I also use it myself when I’m planning trips to new places. It helps me to make sure I see all the things I want to see, and not waste precious travel time doing the wrong things. If you would like a free PDF of the Travel Questionnaire you can Download It Here

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy


I am so excited to be able to tell you that my new book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is now available on!

Writing this book has been a labor of absolute love, and now I get to share it with you!

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy


I had a little marketing Q&A recently and thought some of the transcript would give you a really good idea of what’s in the book and why you should buy it! Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is exclusively available at

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy

Why Did You Write This Book?

Everywhere I go people tell me they would love to go to Italy but don’t know where to start with planning a trip. Where to go, how long to stay in each place, where to stay, how to get around.

They frequently tell me they don’t want to be on a big bus tour or want more time than 5 hours in a city while on a cruise. Others will tell me they are booked on a cruise but don’t know how best to spend their time in a given city when their time is so brief.

Others tell me they would love to go to Italy but could never afford it. They are blown away when I show them how they can do it for less than they spend on a vacation here in the USA.

I travel to Italy several times per year, so it made sense to write a book explaining how to put a fabulous trip together, and how to do it on a budget.

What Makes It Different From Other Travel Books?

Whenever I buy travel guide books they tell me about things to do in a given town or city, but they don’t tell me how to put a trip together.

They all speak in a very corporate voice that is completely impersonal, and they don’t really care if you love a place or not.

I thought about all the things I would want to know if I was traveling to a country I hadn’t been to before, all the questions I would be asking, and tried to write a book that answers these questions.

In Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy it is me speaking to you. I really do care that you have an amazing time while you are in Italy. I want to help you to plan and then have the absolute trip of a lifetime. I want to take away all the things you might find stressful and set you up to have a vacation the is both fun and fabulous. Most of all I want you to come away from it in love with Italy, like I am!

So What’s In The Book?

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is broken up into three sections.

Section One

The first goes into depth helping you to plan your trip so everything flows seamlessly. We look at different accommodation options, how to choose where to stay, how to move around the country, how to make sure you’re not missing anything. There are several elements in this section that will really Wow you. The feedback so far has been very consistent with people saying “I would never have thought of that!!!”

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy

Section Two

Section two deals with everything you need to know about planning your flights, getting the killer deals, getting upgraded (my specialty!). I go into depth on things you may not otherwise have thought about, from what to wear on a long-haul flight, to what you must have in your carry-on bag (you might be surprised), to avoiding, minimizing, or if the worst happens dealing with jetlag. You will not only save a ton of money with this section, but also arrive in Italy feeling fresh and fabulous and ready to take on the world.

Section Three

The third section is help for you on the ground. You will learn how to choose a restaurant, which foods and wines to order by region. Although Chianti is fabulous you’re not going to order it in Venice and you wouldn’t order it in Positano. I have a cheat sheet guide in the book for quick reference on which wines you order where. The same with foods, Italian cuisine is entirely regional, so there is a chapter telling you specialty foods to order everywhere you go.

There is also help for you when things go wrong, what to do if you get sick, translations for common ailments that you can either day or point to when you are getting help.

I have a step by step guide to using the train system, which can be quite a handful if you don’t know what to do. A photographer I work with told me about trying to get from Verona to Florence by train, and how incredibly stressful it was for her because she didn’t know what anything meant, or how the system worked, and she couldn’t even see the word Florence anywhere! It’s Firenze over there. There are so many things that can make it really stressful, but if you have my little step by step guide with you it’s a breeze.

Section three also teaches you how to order coffee in Italy, things you need to know about beaches and shopping and getting your sales tax back – there is so much in there, it is endlessly helpful even to people who have traveled to Italy before!

What Else?

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is peppered with anecdotes and stories from my own travels in Italy. I wanted to be able to back up things that I tell you with stories that put them into perspective. Partly to highlight how when things don’t go as planned there is normally an outcome that is far more fun anyway, so don’t sweat it. Partly to have the reader keep their eyes and ears open for fabulous experiences that are waiting to jump out at them, and partly to have them watch out for the telepass lane at the highway toll booths. You have to read the book to get that one…

What Do You Want Readers To Take Away From This Book?

I really want people to see that a trip to Italy can be incredibly affordable and you don’t have to be wealthy do it.

When my son was 12 I really wanted to take him on a beach vacation. My one stipulation was that I wanted to be able to sit on my balcony and have a view of the ocean, and be able to hear the waves as I fell asleep at night. I tried to find us a place at the beach in San Diego but everything was so completely out of our price range, so we went to Sicily instead!

I want readers to take that trip to Italy, to see some of the big tourist attractions, but also to get off the beaten path and see more of the truly amazing places where the tour buses and cruise ships don’t go.

Where Can We Buy Your Book?

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is sold exclusively on You can get your copy here

It is available in digital form on Kindle or if you don’t have a Kindle (I don’t) you can download it onto the Kindle App.

There will be a paperback version available in the next couple of weeks too.

Free Resources

I am building up a free resources library for my blog readers and my book readers. For now I have my pre-travel checklists available for you to download. These are the checklists I personally use when I travel, and also that my Glam Italia Tour travelers use. Get Your Checklists Here

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