Golossary: Aperitivo

An aperitvo is a popular phenomenon that has transformed in recent years. Classically, like the French aperitif it consisted of a drink in the early evening, before dinner. An aperitivo was often taken at the bar, it might be an Americano, a Spritz, a Negroni, maybe a Campari soda or a glass of wine or Prosecco, or back in the day a glass of herbal liquor like vermouth.

Typically bars would put out a light snack to accompany the drink, maybe potato chips, salted nuts, etc. Now the aperitivo has morphed into a major social phenomenon, growing from its humble origins into something much bigger. Now you can find bars that provide everything to a sorry selection of bite sized sandwiches left-overs from lunch service, to those that provide an elaborate spread including multiple pastas and main courses served from a buffet (Apericena).

An aperitivo buffet can be an excellent value – providing dinner and a drink for a great price. Prices run generally from 5  at the low end to 12 euro, with 8 – 10 euro being the norm.  Now when someone invites you to an aperitivo it could mean going for a drink before dinner, or it could be dinner itself.

Keep in mind that at many places the Aperativo is an early evening thing, with set hours, arrive late and the food or the discount are gone.

Recommended: Caffe Serafini (Via Gioberti), Kitsch (Piazza Beccaria or Via San Gallo), Tamero (Piazza Santo Spirito)

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