A Roman breakfast is a dissapointing one to someone like myself who prefers to start the day off with a more American take on the morning meal. While Americans indulge in a more bountiful selection of eggs, pancakes, cereals, baked goods, juices, teas, and coffees, the Romans prefer a morning diet of caffe al vetro and un corrnetto porta la via (to go). The typical breakfast scene in the city consists of bars (the American equivelant being a cafe, think Starbucks but smaller) filled with Romans waiting at the counter for their coffee, finishing it in a gulp or two and heading back out to the streets. Coffee, or caffe, here is very different in both form and function from that of American coffee. Unlike our coffee, Italian coffee almost always comes in a small, almost shot glass sized ceramic mug contaning no more than two or three sips. Their size is compensated by the intensity of the drink. Each Italian coffee is esentially a shot of pure expresso, often taken without milk or
Should you miss your American coffee, you can always order un caffe Americano, however you would not go unnoticed as you walk the streets or through the piazzas with a tall to-go mug of coffee. Unlike the streets of any city in America, you will never see someone walking to work or down a sidewalk with a mug of anything at all; it's just not how things are done here.
Every now and then I choose to indulge my inner patriot and venture over to a small cafe that claims to serve 'Colazione Americano' (American breakfast). Though I will give them credit for their effort, no one here cooks eggs bacon, or even toast quite like the Americans do. The result is something that only ever assumes a similar image to that of a real American breakfast; close, but never quite right. For now, I'm giving their breakfast a chance, however, I'm not giving up my search for a place that gets my Colazione Americano correct.