Caroline Toscana

"Il Bar"- What do you really do in an italian bar?

In every Tuscan village there is at least one bar, no matter if in big cities or small villages, there is a bar on almost every corner.

A typical italian Bar

Italians may visit their local bar several times in the morning for coffee and again in the early evening for an aperitivo before dinner. The typical Italian breakfast is a cappuccino or espresso and  a cornetto (croissants). Usually, breakfast is done by the counter. Who does not have to hurry to work, makes it comfortable at the table, with a daily newspaper.

The price of the items served at the table can be higher than the price at the counter. The surcharge is a fee for being served by a waiter. Some bars (the smaller ones), however, choose not to have table service.

Note: all coffees in Italy are espresso-based. If you ask for “a coffee” (‘un caffè’), you get a single shot of espresso. Coffee is sold all day but is especially popular in the morning and after lunch and dinner.

At lunchtime, many bars sell sandwiches (generically called panini in Italian, whether they are grilled or not).

People of all ages can go to the bar; there are no age restrictions. You may see groups of Italians playing cards, watching TV, or just gathering together to talk.

From six o'clock in the evening the famous Italian aperitivo (aperitif) starts. Olives, chips, pizza pieces or bruschettas are usually served while enjoying a glass of wine, Prosecco or a Spritz (white wine, soda + Aperol).

Usually, bars open at 6 o'clock in the morning and close at midnight.

In short: "il bar" is part of Tuscan everyday life and this Italian attitude to life can be felt particulary in small towns or villages.
Caroline's Toscana holiday homes, where you can reach small cafes on foot, can be found on my website:

Especially during low season, when it gets dark early in the evening and you just want to leave your car, these village and city holiday homes are just perfect.
Inviting apartments in Lucca or a charming village in central Tuscany and close to Pisa airport, offer an authentic atmosphere with flair.
In addition, in our info folder we reveal, our very personal tips for your wonderful Tuscan holiday: from food tips to nice shops.

Tomato bruschetta

Tomato bruschetta recipe:

For 4 people;

  • 4 slices of Tuscan bread
  • 4 medium or vine-ripened tomatoes
  • garlic
  • basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

First wash the tomatoes and cut into small cubes. Then cut the garlic very small and
basil leaves and add to the tomato pieces. Add a pinch of salt, black pepper (to taste) and a olive oil. Mix the ingredients well and let them chill for a few minutes. Lightly roast the bread on the grill, in the oven or in the pan to make it crispy.
Serve the mixture on the warm slices of bread.

Buon appetito!

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