Milan is the home of the Aperitivo and Happy Hour in the city is most definitely a ritual which no Milanese worth his/her salt is prepared to forego.
The Aperitivo, the beloved Milanese tradition of pre-dinner drinks, is accompanied by complimentary “stuzzichini” and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Spreads range from traditional olives, nuts. cheeses and potato chips to awesome pasta dishes, bruschetta, cold cuts, crudités, raw fish and fruit salads. Generally, lasting for 3 hours from 6 to 9pm (though most people rarely get there until 7pm), the aperitivo scene has become an evening meeting for people of all ages. Cocktails – alcoholic or not – are expertly mixed and a “Negroni”, “Negroni sbagliato” (a delicious mix of prosecco, red vermouth and Aperol instead of gin) or a “Spritz” are Milanese specialities. Drink prices range from about €7-10 although several of the more luxe, upmarket places might ask as much as €15. A great way of relaxing at the end of a long day and the perfect opportunity to enjoy a fabulous cocktail paired with good food at affordable prices.
Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) provides the backdrop for life in the surrounding district of Piazza Castello and Parco Sempione. The monument is one of the most interesting episodes of Neoclassical architecture in the city and one of the best places in town to enjoy the “movida Milanese”. Five hundred meters of bars, where you can savour a delightful Italian coffee, sip an aperitivo or eat at one of the many high-class restaurants scattered around the neighbourhood. Arco della Pace usually gets very crowded at night, especially on Saturdays and Sundays. If you are in search of a truly Milanese atmosphere and lots of fun besides, then this is definitely the place to go.