The Aperitivo is the art of the Italian post-work cocktail. It’s both a civilized social occasion and a snack to hold you over until the late Italian dinner. It can be likened to the American Happy Hour, but it’s so much better. Typically the cocktails served for an Aperitivo are light or on the bitter side. Try classic drinks like a Campari and soda, an Aperol Spitz, or Negroni.
The best Italian bars offer complimentary snacks with your cocktail, which can include anything from olives and nuts to more elaborate bites. Some of our favorite Apertivo experiences include the spritz at Casa Angelina, martinis at Palazzo Avino, the Bar at The Bulgari Hotel, and the bar at the Mandarin Oriental in Milan.
If you’re out for an Aperitivo, make sure to cheers with your friends the Italian way, look them in the eyes and say salute (sah-loo-teh) or cin cin! To learn more about the Aperitivo, check out Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy by Marisa Huff or Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau.