I just would like to say a few words about the apperitivo. Traditionally it means to have a drink and some small snacks before dinner. Maybe a prosecco or campari and some olives or something simple like this. However, in modern day Italy it has come to mean something entirely different. It is the event you base your entire evening around in many cases. I believe it started in Milan and has moved its way south to the larger cities—I’m not sure how far south, likely not further than Rome. The concept is that a bar or cafe will offer an apperitivo from the hours of about 7-9. This will include a drink and a sampling of food of their choice that they put out buffet style. The cost is somewhere between 5 and 10 euro for food and drink. The display of food can be from large overflowing tables to a very small section of a very small bar. You could have your normal crostini and cured meats or full platters of pasta, roasted potatoes and entire panini. Now you can imagine in a city full of students and people who otherwise don’t have lots of money the apperitivo is a great way to socialize and have a nosh. Meet me for an apperitivo?  But what ends up happening is that it becomes a feeding frenzy for mediocre food (sometimes mini pizzas and french fries) and sitting down and eating a proper dinner never seems to happen. So while I like the concept of the apperitivo, and I go with some regularity with my friends, I’m not entirely for it. Sometimes lively atmosphere and cocktail it’s exactly what you need but it shouldn’t be confused with sitting down to eat dinner. That’s what I think.

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