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Aperitivo Happiness

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March 10, 2015 / Italian / By

Italians do not have tapas. Well they do not have something called tapas. What they do have is called aperitivo time.

In the little town of Bevagna, there are five or six bars, in this case a bar is a place to get coffee and breakfast, a panino for lunch or an aperitivo (a drink) before lunch or dinner. But there are also other places such as enoteche (literally - wine repositories) where you can stop for an aperitivo without being obliged to have a meal.

Some bars are better than others when it comes to the aperitivo tradition. So what can you expect?

One type of bar sets out snacks on the bar at aperitivo time and you help yourself. This I find easy to cope with. Although they have spoons in the dishes of peanuts, I am always reluctant to eat them in case some less scrupulous person has had their fingers in the bowl. Then there is the desire to sit outside. Once I am settled outside in the piazza, I am not going to go back in for a few crisps or peanuts if that is all that is on offer.

Other bars only offer snacks if they feel like it. One of the bars that is situated in Bevagna’s lovely piazza is like this. And it can be so random that you will see others with snacks and beer, yet all you got was lukewarm beer. Needless to say, I do not go there for an aperitivo anymore.

The third type offers so much you have to show restraint or you can spoil your appetite. Micheletto is just such a bar. If you order a Prosecco after 11.00 am on a Sunday, a practice I find I am quite fond of having been indoctrinated by an 80 year old Italian friend who warned me off coffee at that time of the day, you will get major snacks. Fresh bread with ham, crisps and nuts in more than sensible quantities accompany the drinks. However, the Prosecco glass is on the small side. So these days I order a Campari Soda. Campari has an agreeably bitter taste.

In the evening, TTG and I are often able to find a reason to have an aperitivo at Micheletto. The view out into Largo Gramsci is pleasant and beer is usually accompanied by slices of pizza rosmarino as well as crisps and nuts. In fact, sometimes, after a hard morning working in the garden, if we are too tired to cook, we make do with the ample snacks. Other times, we show restraint, but it is not easy.

In Rome, Florence and other big cities in Italy, it is a great treat to sit down for an aperitivo and enjoy the inventive snacks that accompany it. Of courses these places charge a lot more for the drink, but before you decide to contest the outrageous price, think how much food you have also had. It will seem a much fairer price that way.


Country: Italy

Province/State: Umbria

City: bevagna

Address: Largo Gramsci 1

Zip/Post Code: 06031

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: +39 0742 360999


Price Guide:$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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