Aperitivo and Happy Hour in the city are most definitely a ritual which no Milanese is prepared to forego.
The Aperitivo, the beloved Milanese tradition of pre-dinner drinks, is accompanied by complimentary “stuzzichini” and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Spreads range from traditional olives, nuts, cheeses and potato chips to awesome pasta dishes, “bruschetta”, cold cuts, crudités, raw fish and fruit salads. Generally, lasting for 3 hours from 6 to 9pm (though most people rarely get there until 7pm), the aperitivo scene has become an evening meeting for people of all ages.
Cocktails – alcoholic or not – are expertly mixed and a Negroni, Negroni sbagliato
(a delicious mix of prosecco, red vermouth and Aperol instead of gin) or a Spritz are Milanese specialities. Favourite beverages consumed during this beloved tradition in Milan include also the city’s renowned Martini, Prosecco or Campari, accompanied by an all-you-can-eat buffet.
TYPES OF VENUES
A myriad of venues, ranging from the smallest bars to larger, uberchic locations situated in the heart of the city, organize this event. There are 3 types of venues: design bars, traditional bars (the places that have written Milan’s history) and, the latest trend, all luxury hotel bars.
WHERE TO GO
There are endless aperitivo options. Several of the most famous are situated in Piazza Sempione or Corso Como and offer a stretch of great bars with a glam vibe where, if you’re lucky, you might run into a famous super-model or footballer. Others also worth note, featuring a more laid-back atmosphere, can be found in Brera or the Navigli area. A sign of a popular place are crowds of young people spilling out onto the streets with a drink in one hand and a plate in the other. Recently, even an aperitif in the CityLife Shopping District, under the archistar-designed towers, has become a trend among the Milanese and international guests. A stop at the Peck wine and cocktail bar is a must. A fabulous idea to relax at the end of a long day and the perfect opportunity to enjoy a fabulous cocktail paired with good food at affordable prices.
AFTER THE APERITIVO
In fact, during aperitivo hour, people start thinking about where to go for dinner, in a city boasting a highly eclectic offer. There are three main areas dedicated to nighttime entertainment featuring a concentration of venues:
Navigli District: an area characterized by places offering live music, patronized by artists, models, musicians and university students. Must-try options are its boat bars and the area’s old osterie where you can sample an array of wines, cold cuts and typical chiese.
Brera District: an historic area boasting a warren of characteristic venues offering live music and, believe it or not, fortune-tellers who are happy to predict your future for a small fee…
Garibaldi district & Corso Como: this is Milan’s most fashionable area by night, where not only will you find a bevy of pizzerie, restaurants, pubs and discotheques, but also possibly chance upon showbiz celebs and sports heroes.