First I thought it could be just in Italy, but here in Dublin it's the same thing. When we go out for lunch, we see lot of people at coffee shops or fast food or take away places. Some of them buy food (salads, for example), but must of them eat sandwiches. And also because of that they don't go home. There is no reason to go home in the middle of the day just to eat a sandwich, isn't there? Sometimes we do eat sandwiches, but not as a regular meal. Just those days when we have no time or no mood to cook something. To me lunch is the better and bigger meal. It's the time we eat more. It's the time to eat pasta, risotto, lasagna, rice and beans, the Brazilian feijoada (yes, there's a vegan version of this dish too). It is also the time to eat a dessert after the meal if you want.
Nutritionists and doctors say that the breakfast or the lunch are the most important meals you should have because you have to spend a lot of energy during the day. I never saw anyone saying the dinner is the right time to eat as much as you can. Because after a few hours, you go to sleep. Full. And this is not good. But I think maybe this is just a Brazilian way to see things. Here (and in Italy too) people eat more at dinner. When I was in Italy I started to eat more every day because we kept my Brazilian style of eat food during the lunch time and adopted the local style of eat food at dinner time. Which means, tones of food most of the days! Now I have my own place in Dublin and we're back to my Brazilian way. My husband has lived with that for the last 4 years and he likes it!
And I really think we're the minority here that goes to a supermarket to buy food to cook at home for lunch time. And I will keep this way as much as I can!