Aperitivo – The Italian Happy Hour!

When you see people mingling outside a local bar, it means it’s aperitivo time! Italian aperitivo is like any other happy hour,  just so much better!  The drinks are cheap and there is so much free food! Some aperitivos are served as a rich buffet, that makes a meal!

When: The local bars offer an aperitivo right before lunch or dinner, from 11.00 until 13.00 and from 18.00 until dinner time 21.00. Some bars set up a simple aperitif table with nuts and chips, others prepare a long table with nibbles and finger foods, everything from sandwiches and crostini breads to cold or warm pasta dishes, mini pizzas and delicious salsas to dip fresh vegetables in. When the bar announces that they offer an Aperi-Cena, you can count on not having to worry about dinner later that night.

Where: Any bar. More crowded, better the buffet. (Or there might be football). In any case, good place to hang out.

How it works: You buy a drink, any drink you fancy, and let the bartender know you wish to have an aperitivo. Your drink comes with a plate, that you can fill up with the food from the buffet table. You can visit the buffet table more than once, don’t be shy! Aperitivo normally costs between € 5,00 – € 15,00 depending on the place and the style of the buffet.

How To Dress: Some bars are quite informal, in others people show up dressed, specially if they are heading for dinner afterwords. Come as you are, but if you would like to dress up for your aperitivo, we can direct you to a few fancy places in Florence, where you can have a drink in style.

What To Order: What kind of drink to have for an aperitivo: You can choose any drink you like, but traditionally the aperitivo was invented to wake the appetite, so fruity and a bit sour drinks are in the Italian taste, more than sweet cocktails. You can also have a glass of wine, a beer or a nice Mojito! Most bars have a vast selection of drinks to offer. Here few typical drinks for a classic Italian aperitivo:

Prosecco: Dry sparkling white wine.

Bellini: Prosecco and peach juice.

Rossini: Prosecco and strawberry juice.

Spritz: Aperol or Campari, white wine, soda, ice cubes and a slice of orange.

Negroni: Gin, Martini Vermouth Rosso, Bitter Campari, ice cubes and a slice of orange. Florentine speciality!

Campari Orange: Campari with orange juice, ice cubes.

Enjoy your night out, Cin Cin!