Milano is the home of the Aperitivo and Happy Hour in the city is most definitely a ritual which no Milanese worth his/her salt is prepared to forego. The Aperitivo, the beloved Milanese tradition of pre-dinner drinks, is accompanied by complimentary stuzzichini (finger food) and an all-you-can eat buffet. Spreads range from traditional olives, nuts, cheeses and potato chips to awesome pasta dishes, bruschetta, cold cuts, crudités, raw fish and fruit salads.
Generally, lasting for 3 hours from 6 to 9pm (though most people rarely get there until 7pm), the aperitivo scene has become an evening meeting for people of all ages. Cocktails – alcoholic or not – are expertly mixed and a “Negroni”, “Negroni sbagliato” (a delicious mix of prosecco, red vermouth and Aperol instead of gin) or a “Spritz” (Aperol and prosecco) are Milanese specialities.