Alla Salute! Italy’s Aperitivo Is Back

Aug 21, 2019 678

BY: Beppe Severgnini

My youth was aperitif-free. It was the 1970s and we concentrated on discos, warm beer on the beach, pizza, sleepless nights with friends and a bottle — or more — of cheap wine. We weren’t fussy. Aperitivi — a ritual pre-dinner drink to begin the evening’s imbibing — was for old people: my parents, uncles and aunts, and on holidays, mostly.

But when we had guests, our dining room would miraculously fill with bottles full of brightly colored liquid with funny names: Aperol, Campari, Negroni, Carpano, Fernet Branca. In a television commercial for Cynar, which was artichoke flavored, an actor sipped his aperitif sitting in the middle of a busy roundabout, toasting: “Protects against the wear and tear of modern life!” 

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