Italians usually eat four meals a day: breakfast, lunch, mid-day snack and dinner, which, in Italian, are "colazione," "pranzo," "merenda" and "cena," respectively. Meals are a huge part of Italian culture, because the culture values family interaction, and group eating helps facilitate that.
Breakfast is usually eaten from 7:30 to 10 a.m. and usually consists of a hot beverage and bread or pastry. Lunch is usually eaten at 2 p.m. and is the heaviest meal of the day. This meal usually consists of first and second courses followed by dessert. The mid-day snack is eaten from 3 to 5 p.m. and is similar to the meal eaten for breakfast. Dinner is usually a light meal, and Italians are known for dining out at this time.