An Easy Guide to a Traditional Italian Meal — Doing Italy


In case you haven’t noticed, Italian meals are all about digesting your food well! For this reason, coffee will never be served with milk after a meal – it’s almost always short, black and strong, and prepared using a Moka Pot. Don’t worry though, Italians won’t judge you if you need to add a spoon or two of sugar to help slurp the bitter drink down.


Of course, as much as Italy is famous for its food, it’s also famous for its syrupy, sweet liqueurs. As part of a Traditional Italian Meal, these will be drunk at the end of a meal as the digestivo. Italians say that the digestivo helps to ‘sciogliere’, meaning ‘melt’, the food in your stomach. They also refer to the digestive as the amazzacaffé or ‘kill the coffee’, as they say it prevents caffeine from taking effect. The digestivo of choice changes from region to region, but common offerings are grappa, limoncello, and amaro.

A note on Portion Sizes

I often hear people wondering if Italians eat so much, how is it they still have one of the longest life expectancies in the world? The key is, Italians enjoy much smaller portion sizes than most Americans! Plus, it’s all about balance, with a Traditional Italian Meal featuring a healthy mix of carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables. Plus, like I said in the beginning, this full array of food is usually reserved for special occasions.

And that’s it! I really hope this Easy Guide to a Traditional Italian Meal will inspire you to give it a try. And if you’d like recipe suggestions, why not check out my

Guide to Authentic Italian Pantry Recipes by clicking here.

Did this inspire you to try your hand at preparing a Traditional Italian Meal? Or does your Italian Family have a different tradition? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!