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Travel Guide: Italy Food & Drink

12th Oct 2011 1:52am | By Editor

If you think Italian food is good then wait till you try their coffee.

Food

Having spread their fine food across the globe, it's common knowledge that a trip to Italy is a gourmet delight. There are regional specialties across the country, and if you've got a soft spot for fresh pasta, pizza and good wine you won't leave unsatisfied.

Drink

Italians also take their coffee very seriously. Here's what to drink and when to drink it.

Espresso

What you'll get if you just ask for ‘caffe' — a shot of strong black coffee served in a small cup. Double the caffeine jitters with a doppio espresso.

Ristretto

A smaller, thicker, and even more tooth-strippingly intense version of the espresso — not for the faint-hearted.

Corretto

Basic espresso ‘corrected' with a dash of alcohol, usually grappa. It is drunk after dinner or even in the morning to start the day with a kick.

Cappuccino

Frothy, milky coffee that's strictly a morning drink — no Italian would dream of ordering one after midday. The name comes from the Italian order of Capuchin monks, whose hooded robes' shape and colour resemble the drink's foam cap — this is spooned on to the coffee to retain heat.

Macchiato

An espresso with a dash or ‘mark' of steamed milk or conversely, in the case of latte macchiato, a glass of hot milk with a dash of coffee. If you can't face a coffee with no milk after dinner, caffe macchiato is an acceptable alternative to espresso or corretto.

Americano

Espresso topped up with hot water. It's closer to the ‘black coffee' Brits and Americans are used to.

Latte

A shot or two of espresso poured into a cup filled with steamed milk, the final quarter topped with foamed milk. Latte literally means milk, so specify 'caffe latte' to be on the safe side.