Summer's Here: It's Aperitivo Time

A common Italian adage, “bella vita” meaning “beautiful life,” is not merely a phrase but a cultural philosophy for the Italian way of life. It represents the Italian appreciation of the simple joys and pleasures of being alive; time with friends and family, eating and drinking well, and enjoying beauty in all its forms. Originating in the charming streets of Milan, the aperitivo symbolizes Italian culture. More than just a happy hour drink, the Italian aperitivo is a social ritual that brings friends together to unwind, converse and savor the simple flavors of Italy. This summer, we invite you to infuse your social gatherings with the laidback, convivial ritual of the Italian aperitivo. We’ve put a guide together to help you master the art of aperitivo like an Italian. 



The first step to creating an authentic Italian aperitivo experience is to set the scene. Transform your home into a cozy trattoria with the help of a few live candles, soothing Italian music, and some delightful refreshments and the inviting aroma of Italian cuisine. Gather your favorite people and get ready for a relaxing and joyful experience.




At the heart of any aperitivo gathering are the libations. While the classic Italian aperitivo drink is the spritz—a refreshing combination of Prosecco, Aperol or Campari, and soda water—there's plenty of room for experimentation. Channel your inner mixologist and try your hand at crafting fun cocktails. Try a balsamic laced Boulevardier, a fennel infused margarita, or boost the evening with an espresso martini.

For those who prefer non-alcoholic options, Italian-style sodas, sparkling water infused with fresh fruit, or a traditional Italian lemonade, known as "Limonata," are excellent choices. The key is to keep it light, refreshing, and distinctly Italian.




No aperitivo is complete without enticing nibbles to accompany your drinks. In Italy, this often takes the form of "stuzzichini"—small, flavorful bites designed to whet the appetite without overwhelming it. Think roasted grape crostini, Parmigiano-reggiano cups, or simply irresistible taralli.

Antipasti boards are also a popular choice, featuring an assortment of cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and accompaniments like honey, nuts, and crackers. The key is to focus on high-quality ingredients that celebrate the flavors of Italy and encourage leisurely grazing and conversation.



As we mentioned, the Italian aperitivo is a ritual—an opportunity to slow down, savor the moment, and connect with those around you. Take your time with each sip and bite, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the experience. Engage in lively conversation, share stories, and indulge in the simple pleasures of good food and company. And don't forget to raise a toast to la bella vita.



Surrounded by centuries of tangible history, Italians live every day with one foot in the past and the other firmly rooted in the present. History appears in every bite of food, it is underfoot in the cobblestone streets, in words that describe the simple joys of life. As a result, Italians live with this ingrained sense of appreciation for la bella vita. Why rush through life when one can savor the moment and treasure the present? So, gather your loved ones, pour yourself a drink, and let the spirit of Italy transport you to a place of pure bliss. Salute!

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