Aperol Spritz doesn’t just pair well with its fellow Italian ‘aperitivo’ dishes ‒ it’s a great friend of all pre-dinner snacks, from Spanish tapas to Greek mezze. And summer is the perfect moment to connect joyfully over appetisers in one of these classic foodie cities…

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Enjoy responsibly 

Barcelona

Barcelona
Image: Shutterstock

There are literally hundreds of tapas bars in the Catalan capital, so where to start? Avoid the mainstream and connect with a local guide, who can share the highlights of the city’s rapidly changing gastronomy landscape.  Enjoy the Barceloneta tapas trawl around the historic fishing quarter (Barcelona Food Tour, summer only) or find moments to share on Taste Barcelona’s introduction to the innovative pintxos (Basque tapas) around the streets of Poble-Sec (Poble-Sec Tapas Tours). Taste typical local tapas, including anchovies, salt cod and “La Bomba”, potato croquette stuffed with mince and topped with hot sauce, as well as the more experimental bites. ¡buen apetito!

Venice

Venice

It’s probably the fact that Venice has so many other wonders that it’s not always hailed as a foodie city, but there’s plenty here to wow your stomach as well as your heart. You and your friends will enjoy the city’s original take on aperitivo: small plates, known as ‘cicchetti’ (pronounced Chee-ket-ee) ‒ typically meat, fish or cheese on bread. Fish and meat lovers are in luck: the main specialities include polpette (meatballs), sarde in saor (sour sardines), or baccalà (salt cod). To find a good “bacaro”, as cicchetti bars are known, you shouldn’t need a guide ‒ find them by the platters of food covering the bar; look for one serving local people; and soak up the vibes.

Milan

Milan

This northern city is well known for its aperitivo culture, and no visit is complete without its early evening ritual. Around 6pm every night, join the locals heading out for an Aperol Spritz and “stuzzichini”, a buffet of bruschette, olives and small finger food. Enjoy the typical, original aperitivo moment in one of the bars around Piazza Sempione or Corso Como, or hit up Brera or Navigli to connect over something a bit more easy-going. Wherever you have your aperitivo moment, get a seat outside to watch the locals promenade out on their evening strolls, and enjoy convivial atmosphere typical of Italian culture.