Florence Insider’s TOP PICKS for Aperitivo (Happy Hour)in BEVERAGES: What & Where to Drink
The aperitivo trend began in Milano, when some of the bars had the brilliant idea to serve a food buffet with their drinks during Happy Hour. Naturally, people would opt to get their drinks at bars that provided these free snacks. Other bars began to follow suit, some of them even offering what came to be called the ‘apericena’ (an aperitivo buffet so bountiful that one could skip dinner afterwards).
The Milanese trend trickled south to many cities, including Florence. Just about every lounge bar, coffee bar and enoteca in the city serves some form of aperitivo buffet with their drinks. Good music is crucial to a successful aperitivo, since it sets the mood for relaxation and animated conversation. Usually, it starts at about 7pm and ends about 10pm.
The aperitivo is how many people in the city stay socially connected. I also like to recommend this option to my clients who are planning on a big lunch and want just a light meal or snack in the evening. They can buy a cocktail that ranges in price from 8-12 euros and get the food buffet for free. It’s also the perfect solution for travelers on a strict budget.
NOTE: The official cocktail of Florence is the Negroni, invented by Count Camillo Negroni in 1919 at the bar that is today known as the Caffe Giacosa (connected to the Roberto Cavalli fashion shop on Via Tornabuoni). The drink consists of one part gin, one part bitters (usually Campari) and one part sweet vermouth (usually Martini Rosso) and garnished with lemon.
Another cocktail that is becoming ever more popular is the Caipirinha, which originated in Brazil. The place to go for this cocktail is X Bacco, owned and operated by two brothers who happen to be Brazilian. Having spent a few years in Brazil, I can personally attest that it’s by far the best (and most authentic) caipirinha in Florence.
Here are a few of my favorite places for aperitivo in Florence. Check out the website to find out what’s going on at the bar before you go:
Negroni (great food, great music) http://www.negronibar.com/
Kitsch (most generous buffet in the city, lots of variety) http://www.kitsch-bar.com/
Moyo (very good mojitos, trendy scene) http://www.moyo.it/
Rifrullo (elegant, indoor/outdoor seating, with fireplace) http://www.ilrifrullo.com/
Oibo (trendy, friendly staff, good music) http://www.oibo.net/
X Bacco (wine and cocktail bar with view of Santa Croce church (Piazza S. Croce, 3 r, on the corner of the piazza and Via dei Benci)
Thank you for reading!