The michetta originated in Lombardy, in northern Italy, during the Austrian rule. Functionaries of the Austrian empire brought there a series of food products, including the Kaisersemmel, a type of bread in pieces resembling a small rose, and weighing from 50 to 90 grams.
However, the pieces produced in Milan, due to the higher humidity than that in Vienna, were less fragrant and became harder in a single day. To solve the problem, Lombard bakers removed the internal crumb and obtained a softer version of the original, which also granted a longer conservation. The new type of bread was called "michetta", from the Lombard version of Kaisersemmel, micca, a term originally meaning "crumb".