The ciabatta is the typical bread of Brescia (in Lombardy) and the surrounding areas. It is a wheat bread, with a firm golden crust and a spongy interior, usually light in texture.
The ciabatta is normally about a foot and half long and some five inches wide. Ciabatta is not baked in a mold, and the dough is quite soft, which accounts for the usually irregular shape.
The ciabatta normally has a flat bottom and a curved top.
ciabatta in Italian means "slipper". Pronounce it like this: cha-BUT-tuh. Do a little pause between BUT and tuh. Or at least try.