Come take part in the centuries-old tradition of the Italian aperitivo, a refreshing pre-dinner drink accompanied by light snacks. Picture yourself savoring a refined aperitivo before indulging in a decedent Rigatoni al Segreto or Zito al Forno. This shared experience is celebrated by locals and curious travelers alike. Whether nestled in a cozy trattoria or the chic ambiance of a cocktail lounge, aperitivo hour beckons with classics like Aperol, Campari, or prosecco. Read on to find the best ways to enjoy this age-old ritual. Salute!
The Best Italian Tradition
The Italian aperitivo is an invitation to connect with the soul of Italy itself, setting the mood for a sensory journey. Imagine yourself in a picturesque piazza or on a rooftop terrace where the glow of the setting sun surrounds you. Draw a sparkling aperitivo to your lips and indulge your palate in its many rich flavors. As the twilight air fills with laughter, engage in evening discussions with your fellow diners. This tradition is not only for locals but encourages visitors to participate as well. Aperitivo can be experienced by all kinds of tourists, whether you’re a solo traveler, a honeymooning couple, or a group of friends backpacking across Europe.
What is Aperitivo?
Aperitivo – or Italian aperitif – is a cherished tradition that began in the late 18th century, marking a turning point in Italian dining culture. The term stems from the Latin – aperire – meaning ‘to open’, suggesting that a hefty or satiating meal will follow. Aperitivo hour generally takes place between 6-8 PM, right before dinner is served. As a prelude to the meal, this is the perfect social time to catch up with friends and family. For those who prefer to not consume alcohol, a non-alcoholic aperitivo is also available, made primarily of citric liquids that retain the almost-bitter blends of regular aperitive.
How To Enjoy Aperitivo
To appreciate your aperitivo experience to the fullest, you should know where the best drinks are served. In Turin, savor aromatic vermouth – wine infused with herbal flavors and a splash of soda – in the very city that founded the beverage. If Aperol Spritz is your thing, then Venice is the place to go. The spritz reigns supreme in the Floating City and has been since 1919. Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is known for its Aperitivo Fiorentino. You can find it in one of the best bars in Florence or on an aperitivo tour. This local specialty is often accompanied by cold cuts, crostini, or pecorino cheese.
The Italian fashion capital of Milan also happens to be the birthplace of Campari where Negroni is a classic choice. Alternatively, enjoy an Aperitivo Milano at the Bulgari Hotel‘s stunning garden, or on the Senato Hotel‘s picturesque rooftop.
Experience the Italian Aperitivo with Tourist Italy
Entice your senses with Italian aperitivo on our exclusive Florence Food & Aperitivo Tour. After a full day of exploring the Jewel of the Renaissance, your expert guide will lead you to a rooftop terrace where a delicious Aperitivo Fiorentino awaits with refreshing light snacks. Take in the breathtaking sunset stretching over the vibrant cityscape as you indulge in local specialties.
If you want to combine this culinary experience with some Florence history and architecture, join our Florence Full Day Tour Without Museums which ties all these flavors of Florence together. For more immersive and tasty Italian experiences, see our 3 Day Turin Culinary Tour, Verona Food and Bike Tour, and Milan Street Food & Drink Tour.
Raise a Glass to the Italian Aperitivo
As the sun begins to set, reach for an aperitivo of your choice and anticipate the delicious dinner awaiting you. For unforgettable culinary adventures, consider joining one of our many food tours or wine experiences. Our tours – such as this Florence Food and Aperitivo Tour as well as our Florence Coffee Tour – are the perfect way to experience the magical Tuscan city. For something more intimate, browse our Italy private tours for customizable and luxurious excursions.
Discover the best bars in Rome and read up on the best bars in Milan to prepare for your next visit to Italy. Kick back, relax, and do as the Italians do: partake in La Dolce Vita – one sip at a time.