Discovering Aperitivo in Rome

Dinner in Italy for the price of a prosecco. For the penny pinching traveller who has an unfortunate, somewhat expensive taste (such as yours truly) this is like winning the lottery. Aperitivo hour has got your back (and your belly).

Our first encounter with this blessing was in Rome. We’d arrived that day and were exhausted. Before we could sleep however, we had to eat. We walked down the street from our hotel and stopped in at the first restaurant, to find it was too late for lunch but too early for dinner. We turned to leave, but they told us we’d be in the same boat no matter where we went and offered to bring us some “snacks” if we wanted a glass of wine.

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A few minutes later, our table was covered in food. I was expecting some stale table bread or at best, some bread sticks. Instead, I filled up on delicious sandwiches, meat-stuffed pastries, rolls and croquettes.  Luckily, Chloe still had room for dinner afterwards, because I was too full to order more food and would have felt bad if the total bill was only 10 euro!

In Florence, we went to an aperitivo evening with a friend who lives there and for the price of our cocktail (around 10 euro) we had access to a huge buffet full of snacks, hot food and fruit. It was such a great way to socialise without a huge bill. I think it’s genius, but I have a feeling this wouldn’t work for very long in Australia. I was one of only a handful of people at the buffet in the busy bar. People drifted by as they needed a little more food but in Australia I can imagine queues of people loading up their plates with mountains of food and diving headfirst into food comas. My advice? Get into it as much as possible in Italy.

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