No cappuccino after 11? Let’s bust a myth!


Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Laura Teso

I am Italian, I live in Italy and I rarely have the chance to meet and speak with foreigners. Lately I had the chance to meet some Americans. Well, do you know what all of them asked me? Is it true that in Italy we can have no cappuccino after 11?

I, in my turn asked them: is it true that in the US it is impolite to blow your nose in public? 😀 In Italy we do it all the time, it is not impolite. Luckily for me. I’m allergic and I have chronic sinusitis. Anyway, what’s with the cappuccino?

No cappuccino after 11?

It’s true that in Italy cappuccino is considered mostly (almost exclusively) something to have at breakfast or during the morning. Especially after lunch, many Italians would order a plain coffee, because they think it may “wake them up a bit”. While cappuccino, rich in milk, may not be equally stimulating.

So, yes, some Italians could find a little odd to see someone having cappuccino after breakfast time. But I don’t think it’s that strange… Just a little, simply because here almost no one does it. But… Why shouldn’t you? Sure, the waiter may understand that you’re not Italian. And so what? To prepare a cappuccino, the bartender only needs coffee and milk. And they’re available at every hour of the day. There are not true obstacles.

Besides, as my Italian American friend Denise pointed out:

 I always see Italians drinking a cappuccino as an afternoon “snack” or pick me up , especially in winter. 


In my opinion, the main issue is not the time of the day, but rather the combination. Yes to cappuccino with croissant or slice of cake. No to cappuccino with sandwich or pizza. But I must confess that once I felt like cappuccino and tramezzino and I ordered both. My friends mocked me and the waiter was perplexed by my choice. But, again, who cares!

Here’s what I think

This is my opinion: as long as you do nothing harmful or offensive for yourself or for others, nothing against the law or something, you should do everything you feel like. So, please, have your well deserved cappuccino in the afternoon or whenever you want. And do not pay attention to people who may comment or look at you with sarcasm: probably, they have nothing better to do in their lives!

If you want to learn more about coffee in Italy, go to Italian kinds of coffee!

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