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Italian types of Bread

Bread is a must on Italian tables. The ‘food of poor people‘, as it used to be called. It was widely eaten because it was made with easily obtainable and cheap ingredients, available to all. Moreover, it could be made at home, following local recipes, often rooted in the history and traditions of each area. So if you want to know how many types of Italian bread are there, such as light flat Italian bread, popular Italian white bread, low-calorie Italian bread, or what types of Italian bread you can find? How many types of Italian bread are there? Here’s all you must know!

How many types of Italian bread are there?

So, how many types of Italian bread are there? Today, more than 250 different types of Italian bread are made all over the country, and each and every region has its own traditional varieties. It would be hard to list them all, but we’ll cover the most popular ones for sure! See everything from the most popular Italian white bread to the focaccia.

In the Northern part of the country, soft wheat flour is more common, but in regions such as Lombardy, you will find it mixed with rice flour or, in Emilia Romagna, with cornmeal. In the central region of Tuscany, you will find the famous pane sciocco, baked without salt: this is considered the best to eat with cold cuts, which are sometimes a little salty.

Pane carasau
The pane carasau is a thin and crispy bread typical of the Sardinia Region in Italy Ph. wikimedia/Shardan

Sardinia has its own bread, renowned all over Italy: pane carasau. It is also known as carta musica, music paper, because of the sound it makes when eating it, as it is very crunchy.

In the South, the bread tradition turns mainly around durum wheat, which is traditionally used for pasta. Several ingredients are often added to the pane, such as olives and nuts or raisins so that it can also be eaten for breakfast. Even if each region has its own specialty and variety of bread, there are some types you will find everywhere with common names.

Before getting into the Italian bread types, how do you say bread in Italian?

So, how do you say bread in Italian? Bread in Italian is pane. The payou say it as if you’d be saying papa. Then, the –ne you pronounce as if you’d be saying neighbor. If you’ve been asking how you say bread in Italian, this is definitely the easiest answer to it!

Common types of Italian bread

Here are some famous types of Italian bread you can try when eating in Italy!


Italian ciabatta bread. This is a classical type of bread you will find in almost every regionCiabatta, “slipper“, is called so because of its shape which reminds that of a slipper: a “ciabatta” in Italian.

Ciabatta with its soft crumb | Credit:https://blog.giallozafferano.it/simona68/pane-ciabatta/

It is easy bread made with water, flour, and yeast. Few ingredients give life to soft bread with a thin crispy crust and soft inside, ideal for stuffing.


It’s a long and soft type of Italian bread, quite similar to a baguette. It is often topped with sesame seeds or cereals.
It is also known as “filetta” or “fila di pane” depending on where you are. Bread is referred to in a variety of ways, and you will almost certainly never know all the names that are used in the bel paese (Italy)!

Filone | Credit: https://ilfattoalimentare.it/pane-cotto-papille-vagabonde.html


When it comes to types of Italian bread, Focaccia is a highlight. A flatbread, Focaccia stands midway between bread and pizza. Depending on the region, you’ll have particular types of focaccia. Very famous is the Focaccia Ligure, with plenty of olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary on top. Also, there’s the focaccia Pugliese, with tomatoes on top. Very tasty!

Focaccia pugliese
Focaccia Pugliese, with tomatoes and oregano | Credit: https://www.tavolartegusto.it/ricetta/focaccia-pugliese-con-pomodorini-affondati/


It’s a light flat Italian bread and one of the most popular Italian white bread. This is not really bread, but rather a type of bakery item. Freselle is typical of the southern regions and in particular Campania, Apulia, and Basilicata. Durum wheat is used to make this type of biscuit, which is cut into two pieces horizontally and cooked again. It is eaten a lot in the period of summer with tomatoes, basil, and olive oil on top; some people also soak it in water before eating it in order to make it softer.

Cherry tomatoes, basil, and onion season the Friselle | Credit: https://blog.giallozafferano.it/ricetteditina/ricetta-fresella-napoletana/


Italian bread: Grissini (bread sticks) and ciabatta Ph. flickr/iTinette

One more of the most popular white pieces of bread from Italy. They are long sticks of bread that are often seasoned with rosemary, olives, or sesame; although they originated in Turin, they are now eaten throughout Italy.

There are various types and forms. Depending on the manufacturer, they can vary greatly! What distinguishes them is an elongated and easily identifiable shape.
I encourage you to try them because they are a popular appetizer in our area.


Piadina: mentioned also in some Italian songs, this type of bread is typical of the area of Romagna. It is flat, and made with wheat flour, olive oil, salt, water, and lard. Everyone chooses the filling they like, as there are plenty of combinations, but several people like eating it with ham and cheese. In Emilia Romagna, we really love Piadina, and it’s there in everyone’s kitchen. This is definitely a low-calorie Italian bread type.

Stuffed piadina with ham, tomatoes, mozzarella and aragula |Credit: https://www.veroni.it/blog/la-piadina-il-simbolo-dellemilia-romagna/


A highlight of the types of Italian bread. This is one of the main protagonists in the category of buns, and in some parts of the country, it is also known as michetta. It is puffed and crunchy, and its shape reminds that of a star with a swollen tip.

Rosetta | Credit: https://www.servirebencaldo.com/recipe/rosette-di-pane-soffiate/

Schiacciata or Schiaccia: 

Schiacciata is a type of focaccia made in Tuscany, baked with olive oil and salt. When it comes to types of Italian bread, this one must be tried if you visit Tuscany.

The soft and fragrant Tuscan Schiacciata is one of the region’s most popular foods. Its main characteristics are crunchiness, large air bubbles, pinch marks on hand-made pasta, abundant extra virgin olive oil, and coarse salt added after it is cooked.

Schiacciata |Credit: http://www.laversionedienrica.it/la-mia-schiacciata-toscana/

Pane Cafone

It is a soft wheat, round-shaped type of bread typically made in Naples, Campania.

The name is an intriguing detail. In reality, “cafone” is an adjective that describes someone who is especially nasty. How did bread get its name?
Folklore claims that the province of Naples was where it was first made. So, it wasn’t a creation of the city’s core. The aristocracy of Naples specifically regarded bakers who prepared bread as cafoni.

Pane cafone
Pane Cafone | Credit: https://blog.giallozafferano.it/allacciateilgrembiule/pane-cafone/


This is not bread, but it falls into the field of the bakery. Its shape is similar to that of a ring, and it does not rise. This product is made in the southern regions and in some areas of Lazio, and several alternatives are baked, among which is also a sweet version. Taralli is as well a low-calorie Italian bread type.

The taralli are a product of the bakery industry that can be sweet or savory | Ph. depositphotos/fcarucci

How to eat Italian Bread?

Beyond the question of how many types of Italian bread are there! Pane, all types of Italian bread are sold at panetterie or forni, bakeries. Panetterie usually also sells typical cookies and cakes, and they are certainly more traditional than large-distribution supermarkets, where you will not find the same smell, and you will miss the opportunity to have a local experience. Italians eat bread with almost everything and every restaurant will always bring it to you at the beginning of your meal; if not so, you can ask for it. These were some of the most popular Italian white bread.

People often make sandwiches, but they also eat plain bread during lunch or dinner accompanying every single dish, except dessert or pasta, and you will always find someone being tempted by the idea of scarpetta, mopping up the plate with bread, which is an irresistible ritual for most.

Simply test the bread flavors you’ve never had before! You’ll thank me for it, I promise!

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