A cocktail, a locale and a collective ritual. The Camparino in Galleria, a ‘trendy’ venue since 1915, is the ideal spot for an authentic Milanese aperitivo. You have it ‘au naturel’ or in a rock glass packed with ice and decorated with a slice of orange. Alternately, this one-of-a kind liqueur can be mixed with equal parts of gin and red Cinzano to create a perfect ‘Negroni’, a recipe invented by the International Bartending Association. It can also be served chilled with a dash of soda for the ‘Seltz’ version. Regardless of your choice, ‘Campari’ is synonymous with ‘aperitivo’, a sacred rite in Milan. It happens after work between the hours of 6pm and 8pm, when Italians relax and prepare for a dinner ahead.
In Milan, the aperitivo should not be confused with the idea of simply ‘drinking something’. The Camparino in Galleria, a beautifully renovated historic locale and a go-to destination for more than a century, is the undisputed reference point for this collective rite. Opened in 1915, and renowned for its opulent Liberty-style décor, this bar was patronized by celebrities, trendsetters and influencers long before Instagram. It was – and continues to be – a meeting place for artists, financiers and fashion greats who, mix with ordinary people and tourists from all over the world, just like the cocktails are mixed with different spirits and liqueurs.
The must-visit place is the brainchild of Davide Campari who, at the beginning of the 20th century, decided to open a ‘younger’ version of the Caffè that his father had opened in 1867. A significant factor of its success was a trivial idea that made all the difference: an innovative system to source fresh sparkling water directly from its cellars, offering the ideal temperature for a perfect Campari Soda. Talk about cool!
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, corner of Piazza Duomo
M1 (red line) – M3 (yellow line) Duomo
T: +39 02 86464435
Opening Tue-Sun 7.15am-8.40pm
Closed on Monday