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):
To a drink plus snack, like this:
Or, an all-out buffet:
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?