Sunday, October 27, 2013

Firenze: Aperitivi!

One of the fun activities that goes on every evening in Florence, starting at 7 p.m. is going out for aperitivi. Aperitivi are beverages that are usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite, and are usually dry rather than sweet. However, in many cases nowadays, a glass of wine or a cocktail will do. Many ristoranti invite people to come in for a drink, and provide snacks and hot pasta in a buffet style setting. Quite often, there's enough of a spread to make a meal of it, but you only have to pay for the drink. Depending on the place, drinks cost between 6 and 15 euros each: on the lower end, it's a pretty cheap meal!

Sei Divino, Ognissanti
Haruko and I have met for aperitivi several times, in different parts of the city. Sei Divino, in Ognissanti, charged 7 euros for their drinks, and provided a great spread of food. We got there at 7 pm when they were just starting to put out the 7:45 most of it was gone! They had several kinds of crostini (small slices of bread spread with patè) and bruschetta (grilled slices of bread spread with sauces), several platters of hot pasta, and salad.

Haruko at the Play Bar
Another place we tried, Play Bar on Piazzale Michelangelo, charged 8 euros for their drinks, and the food was plenty and good, but not as tasty as the spread at Sei Divino. One advantage we had at Play Bar is that we went there on a rainy Wednesday night, and the place was pretty empty, so the food never ran out while we were there, and there were more choices of vegetables. They had many kinds of olives, marinated eggplant, zucchini, artichokes, cocktail onions and garlic, in addition to polpette (meatballs) and a cheesy pasta dish.

Bevo Vino, San Niccolo
Another kind of place that serves aperitivi is the Enoteca, or wine bar. I visited the one in San Niccolo, Bevo Vino, several times with Anne, but not during the aperitivi hour, when they usually serve tapas with their drinks. As you can see, outdoor spaces often consist of tables and chairs positioned in the streets in San Niccolo, which becomes a pedestrian area after 6 p.m.

Though I had enough presence of mind to take photos of the bars, I neglected to take photos of the food. You'll just have to imagine it!

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