When: every day from 18:00 to around 21:00, with some exceptions that prolong the atmosphere until late at night.

Where: anywhere in the city

During the typical Milanese day, marked by the frenetic pace of study and work, the aperitif represents that pleasant moment of transition that prepares for dinner and is dedicated to sharing ideas and words, to meetings, to brilliant conversations. An almost “mystical” moment, which turns towards sunset but which brings with it all the richness of the day spent and the carefree feeling of being in company.

If you want to find the inspiration for your future projects, chat in front of a good drink and taste the typical dishes (Milanese or exotic) at an economical price, then aperitif is the key to connect yourself to the spirit of Milano and its citizens. Whether it's organized to spend time with the family, laugh with friends, or discover the more witty side of one's colleagues, the aperitif is an opportunity to play down the accumulated fatigue and recharge your batteries.

From dusk to dawn, the aperitif rooms give way to movements of parallel culture, becoming a creative factory, a "square", a privileged location for exhibitions, concerts, cultural happenings, festivals and events, a co-working area, an opportunity for training and of personal growth. An essential element is an alcoholic or soft cocktail, traditional or innovative, and the accompanying appetizers, to make the natural flow of thoughts more pleasant.

In Milano the formula is variable: we move from itinerant aperitifs, which use social networks to create “live” tasting opportunities in always different places of the city, to the most popular nightlife venues.

Duomo

The central area of the Duomo is an evergreen - a classic revisited with a touch of glamour. The keyword to describe the atmosphere is panorama, accessible from the numerous rooftop bars that leave room for breathtaking views and the feeling of walking on the city that never sleeps. The atmosphere is cool but relaxed. If you suffer from vertigo, there are numerous places that can satisfy any food and drink need, from the homegrown "bistronomique" to the bakeries that remain open for the aperitif and beyond, the offer is touristic but also dynamic.

Navigli

The canals have always been considered the epicentre of the Milanese aperitif. In addition to the number of dedicated venues, here it is possible to intercept the creative mood of the city, which is expressed in the romanticism of the canals, in the retro and radical chic charm of the shops, in the almost “tailored” gastronomic proposal. The Darsena, with its pier, the comings and goings of bicycles and the smart style that distinguishes it, presents various "alternative" and delicious opportunities to enjoy the almost holiday landscape, in the utmost light-heartedness.

Porta Genova/Via Tortona

The cultural aperitivo is at home in one of the most fashionable areas of the city - Porta Genova / Via Tortona: here the culinary art blends with the imagination and the aperitif is not limited to pure entertainment of taste, but combines different recreational activities for body and mind (including DJ sets, surfer yoga and revival parties) often extending into the morning.

Porta Romana

Moving to the North-East you will find the great excitement of Porta Romana, a district that gathers different souls and expresses itself in all its multi-faceted nature. The offer is lively and vast: from kiosks for real gourmands to the rural mood; from the aperitif with bare feet by the pool to the one immersed in the alternative music scene. Cafés are characterized by a shabby-chic look and a futuristic reinterpretation of post-industrial style, attention to the different tastes in the kitchen (vegetarian, vegan, organic) and to the genuineness of the products.

Porta Venezia

The most stylish place is Porta Venezia, the cradle of the Pride. There are many wine shops and wine rooms for food and wine tastings, in a modern and glamorous atmosphere, with a touch of wildness.

Città Studi/Piola/Lambrate + Stazione Centrale + Buenos Aires/Lima

Indie spirit in Città Studi / Piola / Lambrate: here the mood of the aperitif is fresh and casual, as well as eco-sustainable. Continue to Stazione Centrale, a place of passage for travellers, but also a meeting point for companies of friends who plan new adventures. In Buenos Aires / Lima a touch of glam design and attention to the culinary offer complete the picture.

Isola/Chinatown

The melting pot joins the green vocation between the Isola district and Chinatown: this is the maximum area of the intermingling of cultures, in which the Northern air mixes with exotic winds, with a marked ethnic character. Here the sense of community is strong: the cultural contamination runs through the former industrial areas subject to redevelopment, in the inner courtyards transformed into clubs, in the familiar touch of the "village bars". The aperitif is the pretext to awaken a good mood and to feel good together.

Parco Sempione

"Always on the run" in Parco Sempione, a constantly changing crossroads of young people, tourists and runners, who can find refreshment at the kiosks and chiringuito scattered among the paths that lead to the Castello Sforzesco. Numerous events involving the pleasantness of street food and live music, in the name of the Estate Sforzesca 2019, too.

Brera

Not far away, there is the Brera area, considered among the most characteristic of the city for the refinement and the peculiarity of the bohemian premises, the colors of the flowers adorning the shops and bars, the pink trend and the à la Belle Époque atmosphere that would have pleased so much the curious tourist protagonist Of Woody Allen's film "Midnight in Paris". This is the place to meet the city's thinkers in a healthy and cheap & chic atmosphere.

San Siro/Lorenteggio

Pop vibes in the "no longer" peripheral/out-of-the-way areas from San Siro to Lorenteggio: a pathway for farmhouses and artisan flavours! Toast with homemade beers, eat local produce, listen to indie and folk music under the stars, or enjoy a movie outdoors. That’s the ideal option for those with a more convivial, family or alternative spirit, and want to reconcile with the world.

Last but not least…cheers! The aperitivo story

Let's go back in time to the fifth century D.C. when the Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed one of his own inventions to patients suffering from poor appetite: vinum hippocraticum consisting of sweet white wine, macerated Dittany flowers, wormwood and rue. This recipe was passed on to the Romans who called it vinum absinthiatum (with wormwood) and to improve the bitter taste they added rosemary and sage. In the Middle Ages herbal pharmacology established that the properties of the bitter substances stimulated the sense of hunger. It was then a relatively short step from medicine to the aperitif as we know it today.

 

Turin, late 1700s: Sig. Antonio Benedetto Carpano had the brilliant idea of selling a bottled wine flavoured with china (cinchona), calling it vermouth. The breakthrough came several years later when Vittorio Emanuele II was presented with a box of vermouth. The king so appreciated the ‘punt e mes’ of bitter (one ‘point’ of sweetness and half a point of bitterness) that he dubbed its ‘Punt e Mes’ and declared it as the Court’s official drink. The aperitif custom quickly spread from Torino to the rest of Italy. In Milano, at the beginning of 1800, Mr Ramazzotti was the first to create an alcohol-based aperitif in which he had macerated as many as 33 herbs and roots from all over the world, thus, creating the famous Amaro Ramazzotti.

It was 1862 when signor Gaspare Campari, the owner of a well-known coffee bar in Milano, launched Bitter on the market, a new crisp slightly bitter aperitif to be savoured by his male and female clientele in the ‘shadow of the Madonna’ whilst sitting comfortably in what then became the city’s iconic bar: the Camparino.

 

So, the drink eventually became a social phenomenon. The traditional glass of wine, accompanied by olives speared on a cocktail stick, was transformed into an actual cocktail and the list of drinks got longer and longer. Only towards the end of the century was the ritual enriched with a selection of appetizers, thanks to the legacy of the American Happy Hour. Today, of course, there are masses of venues offering endless variations on the theme.