As for “tradition”, there are no particular recipes for breakfast in Italy, the only basic rule if you have to give breakfast to the average Italian, is that it ought to be sweet and carb-based. Most Italians simply can’t conceive to eat salty stuff in the morning, particularly meat or fish. No bacon or sausages for example, but even eggs are usually never seen. Also, Italians don’t like to cook so early in the day, so the only thing we prepare is usually coffee, the rest comes from the fridge or the cupboard – or the bakery.
At home, most people would just have milk and coffee (cafe latte) with cookies for breakfast. People who like to take their time often have bread with fruit jam and perhaps butter, something which is very commonly served in Italian hotels. A lot of people, particularly younger ones, like to have corn flakes or muesli with milk or yoghurt.
A very common and beloved breakfast solution for working people is going to an Italian bar on the way to their working place and have some coffee-based beverage – espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, and variants – with some kind of pastry, the most common being ‘cornetto’ (croissant) or ‘bombolone’ (I don’t know the English name of this – it’s a fried pastry filled with cream or fruit jam).
At breakfast generally, Italians drink a cup of Tea with some Biscuits (in Italy we don’t eat much for Breakfast). Some others eat milk with cereals or cappuccino with a croissant.
At lunch (12.30 /13.00 p.m) we always eat a dish based on carbohydrates, that is generally Pasta.
Sometimes (once or twice a week) instead of the normal pasta we eat Gnocchi or some kind of stuffed pasta (such as Tortelli, Agnolini, Ravioli, Cappelletti – every city has its own kind of stuffed pasta).
We can also have Lasagne or Risotto.
In Northern Italy, besides Pasta we have the “Polenta” as carbohydrates source. Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal. For this reason, the northern Italians have a nickname: “i polentoni”, but this is a joke :).
Anyway, every Italian region/city has its own particular dish and its own preference/tradition for what concerns the pasta seasonings.
At dinner (19:30/21:30 p.m), Italians eat a second dish (meat or fish) and vegetables. Every Saturday nights, a lot of families like to go to eat pizza in a pizza place.
Sunday is one of the most important days of the Italians family. They like to eat with the family and take time for relaxing.