Happy Hour Italian Style
To appease your hunger, while waiting for the late Italian meal, you may want to try the Italian happy hour or aperitivo , a real tradition in Milan.
Though the precise rules differ from bar to bar, the general idea is that you order a drink at a slightly higher price than usual, after which you either get some (very tasty tapas like) snacks at you table, or (better still) you may serve yourself at a rich buffet at or near the counter.
The choice in Milan is endless but below you will find a few excellent addresses:
On the 7th floor of the La Rinascente department store, adjacent to the Duomo , you'll find what may be called a Food Hall : it is a collection of bars, a brunch restaurant, an enoteca , a market, an Italian food specialty shop and a terrace that faces the cathedral.
La Rinascente is almost always open and offers a very nice place to lounge after shopping and/or sightseeing.
Open: Daily till 12pm
Bar Basso is a Milan mainstay – since 1947 this historic haunt has been slinging cocktails to locals. The bar’s trademark drink is the Negroni Sbagliato, which was invented here. It is made with Campari, sweet vermouth and Prosecco (instead of gin, a typical ingredient in a classic Negroni). Today Bar Basso offers more than 500 different mixed drinks, including the infamous Mangia e Bevi – a hazelnut ice cream based cocktail that made its name in the 60s.
Birrificio Lambrate is a pioneer of the craft beer movement in Italy. Since 1996 this brewpub has been producing non-pasteurized and non-filtered beer for all of Milan to enjoy. The classics crafted all year long include the Ortiga, a golden style ale, and a smokey stout called the Ghisa. Other beers are only available seasonally or on a special basis.
Via Adelchi 5, +39 02 7063 8678
Located in the middle of Chinatown, La Chiesetta is truly one-of-a-kind – after all, where else can you drink in an old gothic church? The house speciality is the chupito, or shooter. There are plenty of chupito options, from the simple SuorLime (vodka and lime) to the Acqua Santa (white rum, gin, vodka and tequila). Celebrating with friends? Order the PadreNostro – that’s seven chupitos served in the form of a cross.
Via Paolo Lomazzo, +39 339 796 9095
Camparino in Galleria
Camparino in Galleria is known as the bar of the famous Campari brand, which has come to symbolize the city of Milan. Located under the arch in the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, this is the spot to enjoy an authentic Campari drink while taking in views of the breathtaking Duomo. The Campari Americano, a mixture of Campari, Vermouth and soda, gets its name from its popularity among American tourists during Prohibition.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, +39 02 86464435
Pinch Spirits & Kitchen
With its winding streets, network of canals and top bars, the Navigli district is the perfect place to stop for a drink. Pinch Spirits & Kitchen is one of the best bars in the area, with quirky staff uniforms, rustic décor and Prohibition-style cocktails adding to a 1940s theme.
Pinch Spirits & Kitchen, Ripa di Porta Ticinese 63, +39 02 3652 8204
Ever thought of moving to Italy and enjoying the 'Good Life'? Read this book about two Dutchmen who have moved to Italy together with their dog, and the story of their new Bed & Breakfast.
The hilarious & horrendous adventures of two Dutch expats and their dog in Italy
About mafiose real estate agents, Mussolini-type builders, lousy plumbers, Italian neighbours, murderous veterinarians, horrors in hospitals, tasting wine,
eating pizza, visiting the theatre, truffle hunting and much more!
Winner Reader Views Literary Fiction Award & 2017
Eric Hoffer Award Finalist
Buy at Amazon (paperback/ebook) and other retailers