Facciamo l’aperitivo?

What’s so great about the Italian aperitivo?  Um, everything.  It makes the American happy hour look like a sad, starved, alcoholic mess.

Aperitivo time is my favorite time of day in Italy.  Served from around 6-9pm, it’s the pre-dinner practice that’s the trendiest part of the typical daily Italian food ritual.

Cool, chic, and ever-evolving, you never know what you’ll get from one place to the next.  Originally intended to merely entice the appetite with a refreshment (either alcoholic or non) and light snack before dinner, establishments are now doing their best to out-do the competition.

So, when a friend asks,  ”Facciamo l’aperitivo?”, it can mean anything from grabbing a quick drink, like the infamous “Spritz” cocktail (prosecco and Aperol):

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To a drink plus snack, like this:

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Or, an all-out buffet:

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The craziest part about the aperitivo is that the food is actually included in the price of the drink.  So, essentially for €10 or €15, you have the chance to (once again) eat like a king on a pauper’s budget.  Plus, many locales have live entertainment or a DJ in the later hours, so you can literally hang out all evening and make a night of it with friends.

What’s not to love?

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