I'm in Italy for four days, strictly working you understand, and espresso here is just that: fast. In you go in the morning before work for a cappuccino--yes, you can have one then (usually abbreviated to "cappuccio"), but it ain't nothing like as big as what we usually get, let alone a latte, which is a very rare order and often for when you're not feeling well. You stir it, have a look at the paper, maybe have a cornetto--a croissant, but made with a more brioche-like dough--and you go to the office.
Maybe, if you have time between morning appointments, you go in for another, but by that time it would be maybe a macchiato, "stained" with milk foam, cappuccino being the breakfast drink. Then, after lunch, a very quick espresso or macchiato. Same with teatime pause in the late afternoon to get to the end of the working day, which is 6 or 7. Office hours are strict (I write from one now).
Several eternal Italian concepts to note: These breaks are fast, yes, but always sociable. You chat with the barista, who is often an owner--mom and pops still flourish here, and chains haven't taken over, partly as a result of small-business protectionist laws that might hobble the economy but thank G d continue to make village and even city live the festive joy it usually is here. There's often a paper on a table, and you give it a glance. But unlike Terrence's Argentinian experience, I so far haven't seen anyone pull out a laptop in a caffe (they put in the extra "f" here). That would be downright unsociable.