It’s easy to find a spot for an evening aperitivo in Florence. But if you’re looking for something special, here are a few pointers. And a list of places you just can’t go wrong.
The aperitivo is an institution in Florence, as it is in many parts of Italy. But this city has a special claim to fame, being the birthplace of the Negroni. This is a delicious, slightly bitter cocktail made with campari, gin and vermouth and is a staple of the aperitivo scene in the city. If you like the taste of campari, but not the alcohol, there are non-alcoholic versions including Sanbitter.
Of course a real aperitivo involves food as much as it does drink, and many bars serve up snacks with the tipples. In recent years the apericena has become more and more popular in Florence. This is an informal buffet style dinner where you pay 10 to 12 Euros for your drink which includes access to a buffet style meal made up of a variety of savoury snacks and small dishes. It’s dinner, but much more casual, often eaten standing up.
Where to find the perfect aperitivo in Florence:
COLLE BERETO, Piazza Strozzi – Outdoor seating, good cocktails, chic, loved by the locals.
SOUL KITCHEN, via de’ Benci – Cosmopolitan, informal, good food.
MOYO, via de’ Benci – Music from 7pm, varied buffet, trendy, young, lively.
RIVALTA CAFE’, Lungarno Corsini – Amazing views, right on the river. Fun cocktails, good food, a civilised spot that’s good for lunch too.
SLOWLY CAFE’, Via Porta Rossa – Music , food and drinks, lively.
RIFRULLO, via San Niccolò – a popular place in the Oltrarno. A favourite meeting point for foreigners and locals. Good buffet, lots of seating, open for lunch too.
NEGRONI, via de’ Renai – Another favourite spot in Oltrarno.
MAD SOUL AND SPIRIT, Borgo San Frediano – probably the best cocktail bar in Florence, in the hipster neighbourhood of San Frediano.
GESTO, Borgo San Frediano – cool vintage interior and great cocktails.
Check out about all the Best bars and restaurants in San Frediano.
Summer Aperitivo with a view:
During the Summer, some hotels open their roof terraces to the public. Expect to pay a bit more, and but it’s worth it for the drinks and the view. Reservation recommended.
HOTEL MINERVA, piazza S. Maria Novella – from 7 to 9pm, classic light aperitivo, nice cocktails.
HOTEL BAGLIONI, piazza dell’Unità – from 5pm, on the roof garden, relaxed elegant atmosphere.
HOTEL WESTIN EXCELSIOR, piazza Ognissanti – a spectacular view from the sixth floor of this historic hotel right in the heart of Florence.