With the Christmas season coming into full swing and many people starting to plan parties and get together for their friends and family – we decided to tell you more about the Italian aperitivo – an authentic Italian ritual and a true highlight on our cooking holidays!
What is an aperitivo?
The Aperitivo, or aperitif, is a great, Italian experience. An aperitivo is essentially a pre-dinner drink to stimulate the appetite and digestion, and it has become somewhat of a ritual in Italy. The word comes from the Latin word, apertitiuvum, which means “to open” and so it basically describes the effect of something appetising!
What to drink
Aperitivos come in many forms and some of the most famous Italian brands are Campari, Martini and Aperol. They are usually dry or bitter, rather than sweet, and relatively low in alcohol content. Prosecco is another great pre-dinner drink to get the juices flowing!
What to eat
An aperitivo almost always comes with a couple of complimentary nibbles, nothing that would ruin your appetite, but instead help it along! For example, you might find some salty olives or crisps. Today, in Italy the aperitivo is as much about the food and drink as it is about socialising. Many argue that the aperitivo originates in 18th century Turin; however today, Milan is king of the aperitivo scene and you’ll often get something little more over the top than a little olive! In some of the fancier establishments, while the classic drinks will still be on the menu, you’ll get these served various luxe offerings such as freshly shucked oysters and selections of fine hams and cheeses.
Perhaps the most popular aperitivo is the Negroni (1 part gin, 1 part Campari, 1 part sweet Vermouth). However, whatever you favourite, when in Italy, aperitivo time is an absolute must! Check out our 12 days of Christmas competition to be in with a chance with winning a bottle of authentic Limoncello from the “Just So Italian” Deli.
And, for those who would like to taste true Italian flavours in authentic surroundings – we have great news. We don’t charge any single supplements – which makes our holidays perfect for everyone. Download our 2015 brochure to find out more about our stunning locations in Italy or simply contact our wonderful team to request more information.