Aperitivo Ritual is without doubt one of the most fun food experiences you can try in Italy. It consists of a pre-dinner drink accompanied by some salty snacks and, of course, friends to chat with. Apéritivo comes from the Latin verb “aperire”, which means “to open.” It usually involves a beverage served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. From the traditional bar to the Tuscan “Vinaio” and from amazing hotel rooftop terraces to historical cafes, Italy offers countless spots to enjoy this social and tasty ritual.
1. What to drink
Classic aperitivo includes a dry, bitter based cocktail (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic). These options include a Spritz made with Aperol or Campari and Prosecco, an Americano made with Campari, sweet Vermouth and Soda, or a Negroni, which is a Florentine specialty, made with Gin, sweet Vermouth and Campari. If you love bubbles there are countless aperitivo-friendly whites such as Prosecco from the Veneto region, or the many northern Italy sparkling wines. Of course, fruity San Giovese wines from Tuscany also make stellar options. You will also find a wide variety of Tuscan reds. For example, a Chianti Classico from Florence or Brunello di Montalcino.
2. What to eat
Since aperitivo should be food as well as a pre-dinner drink, traditional food for the ritual should include only olives, chips, and peanuts. Nevertheless, today many places offer a wide variety of crostini, salads, cold cuts, cheeses, breads, soups and pasta with this deal: one drink + “free” food buffet (or Aperi-dinner) for a fixed price between 7 and 10 euros. A great deal!
Aperitivo hour usually stretches from 6 or 7pm to 9pm.
There is not one perfect aperitivo place because it depends on what you want. Here are Coral’s favorite spots in Italy