Are you planning a low budget holiday in Italy? Then, aperitivo and happy hour might come in handy.
But what are aperitivo and happy hour?
The idea of aperitivo in Italy dates back to 1784, when Antonio Benedetto Carpano invented Vermouth, a drink made of white wine aromatized with more than 30 different spices and herbs.
Nowadays, aperitivo indicates a beverage, usually an alcoholic one, that is drunk before meals to whet the appetite. During aperitivo you usually eat some appetizers too, like pizza, crackers, cheese, chips, peanuts and so on.
Some of the most famous aperitivi in Italy are Martini, Negroni, Manhattan, Spritz, Prosecco, Rossini, and Bellini.
The concept of happy hour dates back to the prohibition era, where the term happy hour indicated that period of time when people met in illegal drinking establishments to drink alcohol before having dinner.
Nowadays, happy hour indicates a period of time, usually from 6 pm to 9 pm, in which bars offer discounted drinks together with a rich buffet.
Both aperitivo and happy hour can be either offered at a fixed price or you pay according to what you drink and eat.
They seem pretty similar, don’t they? What are the differences then?
The main differences between happy hour and aperitivo are two:
1. happy hour is typical of evening hours, while aperitivo can be drunk at midday too.
2. aperitivo should just whet your appetite before lunch or dinner, while happy hour can also replace your dinner.
However, since the differences are so slight, during evening hours, many Italians use the word aperitivo to indicate happy hour.
HOW TO INVITE SOMEONE FOR AN APERITIVO OR HAPPY HOUR
Aperitivo and happy hour are very in in Italy. And they are a way to spend some time with friends, collegues, acquaintances or to get to know each other while tasting some finger food.
Some of the typical Italian sentences to invite someone for an aperitivo or for happy hour are:
|Ci beviamo un aperitivo?||Andiamo a bere/prendere un aperitivo?|
|Ci vediamo per un ape stasera?||Andiamo a fare l’happy hour?|
|Ti va un aperitivo?|
|Ci facciamo un happy hour?|
SOME PLACES FOR AN APERITIVO OR HAPPY HOUR IN MILAN
For tourists visiting big Italian cities, then, aperitivo and happy hour are also a way to have dinner at a relatively low price – usually from 5 to 15 euros.
Some places you can try in Milan are:
La Hora Feliz 11€ – Address: Via San Vito, 5, 20123 Milano
Todos a Cuba 7€ – Address: Via De Amicis 4 (Colonne di San Lorenzo), Milano
Manhattan 10€ – Address: Ripa di Porta Ticinese 13, 20143 Milano
They’re always very crowded, so my advice is to reserve a table in advance.
What about you? Have you already drunk an aperitivo in Milan? What are your favourite bars?
Original image by HNBS