Art of the Apertivo

The Bulgari Hotel in Milan Bar, The Taste SF san francisco


The Apertivo is the art of the Italian post-work cocktail. It’s both a civilized social occasion and a snack to hold you over until the late Italian dinner. It can be likened to the American Happy Hour, but it’s so much better. Typically the cocktails served for an Apertivo are light or on the bitter side. Try classic drinks like a Campari and soda, an Aperol Spitz, or Negroni.


Aperol spritz by the pool at Casa Angelina Lifestyle Hotel in Praiano Italy, The Taste SF


The best Italian bars offer complementary snacks with your cocktail, which can include anything from olives and nuts to more elaborate bites. Some of our favorite Apertivo experiences include the spritz at Casa Angelina, martinis at Palazzo Avino, the Bar at The Bulgari Hotel, and the bar at the Mandarin Oriental in Milan.


Elegant cocktails hand crafted at the Hotel Bulgari Milano bar, The Taste SF


If you’re out for an Apertivo, make sure to cheers with your friends the Italian way, look them in the eyes and say salute (sah-loo-teh) or cin cin! To learn more about the Apertivo, check out Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy by Marisa Huff or Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau. For more tips and guides, sign up here.






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