Recently another Vingler shared a card on Italian Ragu Alla Bolognese, which you can see here. I really liked the card because it was informative and brought back a flood of desire to visit the storied country. In particular, I'd love for my first visit to be Anacapri, which is a tiny western community on the island of Capri. If any of you have been, I'd love to talk with you about your experience there.
Since my life sort of revolves around relaxation, imbibing and sitting either poolside or seaside, I figured Anacapri would be most ideal, which got me onto this concept of aperitivo. Put simply, it's the pre-meal drink. And I know what you're thinking, Happy Hour, right? Wrong! It's definitely not the same thing.
While Americans flock the bars between 3 and 7 for cheap drinks and just-as-cheap appetizers, Italians enjoy aperitivo, where the drinks are hardly discounted and where the service of food in many places is an after-thought. The point, however, is to chill, relax and prep the palate for the food that comes later. It's like a pre-meal drink.
With Anacapri so far south, it will be fun to see if and where I can find a good spot for aperitivo, since this is mostly a custom of Northern Italy. The trick, as I've read from expats in Italy, is to find out what the locals are doing. Find out where they're doing it. And then join them!
I also learned that ordering drinks doesn't have to be a labor. Order what you want. Also, the custom of drinking aperitivo isn't reserved just for alcohol. Similar to America, they serve both alcolici (alcoholic), and analcolici (nonalcoholic) beverages. Prosecco is very popular, as are each establishment's own version of Campari cocktails.
Speaking of cocktails, click here for Five Popular (and Delicious) Campari Cocktails!