Italian cuisine is characterized not only by its typical ingredients and the way they are used in each meal, but also by the way dishes are served and the environment in which they are eaten. Italian cuisine is unique and very special, and when it is properly done, it can transport those who enjoy it to Florence, Sicily, Venice, Tuscany or any Italian town as if they were there.
A typical Italian cuisine meal would start with an entree, followed by a first course, a secondo or main course accompanied by a side dish and bread, a desert or a fresh fruit and an espresso or coffee. Each one of these dishes and courses has its own characteristics, and in cases of special occasions there might be more than one main course.
An Italian entree dish which would usually be of smaller size than the next ones. This dish could consist on pasta, meat or fish, and in the two last cases sometimes are cold dishes. Following the entree would be the first course which usually consists on soup or risotto, although there might be other variations as well such as pasta for example.
After the first course, a typical Italian dinner would indicate a second or main course. A main course is usually based on meat, fish or vegetable, depending on which ingredients consisted the dishes served before. This main course is accompanied with a side dish which must be complementary to the ingredients of the main dish. For example, in case of a main dish based on meat, the side dish could consist on a small portion of vegetables.
A typical Italian meal would be closed with a desert and a coffee. The desert would usually consist on a cake, pastries, fruits or a fruit salad. After this, an Italian cuisine mandatory element is a cup of espresso or coffee. It is also important to mention that an Italian meal would most of the times be accompanied with wine, chosen according to the kind of meal and the elements in which its preparation is based.