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Watch How Italy Does Breakfast With Espresso and Pastries

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Cappuccino and cornetti.

Depending on your personal taste and nutrition preferences, an average American breakfast might mean sugary cereal and milk, green juice, or perhaps a late-in-the-day trip to McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin (hello, all-day breakfast). In Italy, however, there's a long-standing and widely embraced traditional morning meal of an espresso or a cappuccino paired with a buttery pastry, often eaten standing up at a bar or seated at a sidewalk table.

On a mission for Lucky Peach, photographer Gabriele Stabile captures the bustling morningtime scene at several popular cafes in Roma, including one, Bar San Calisto, that the owner touts as "the last traditional bar." Here they make their cornetti — sweeter Italian versions of the French croissant — the old-fashioned way, rather than baking them from frozen as some newer cafes do. Besides being delightfully simple, the traditional Italian breakfast is also quick: As a Roman barista explains, a cappuccino only takes about 45 seconds to make, but it requires a well-trained eye — and ear: "You could actually just listen without looking, and know it's ready."

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