Enjoying an Aperitivo in Florence, Italy

I’ve been walking and bicycling Florence’s busy and beautiful streets for five days now; it’s been hot and muggy, rainy and thundery, and absolutely breathing. Florence has many sides, but my favorites are its sights and its food. Since I’ve seen most of its sights before such as the Uffizi Gallery, and the Duomo, I’ve been focusing on Florence’s aperitivo culture and fine dining.

Apertivo Buffet

Apertivo Buffet

Florence is the best place in Italy for aperitivo (Milan is a close second.) Aperitivo is an evening activity commonly found in Mediterranean countries, specifically Spain, France, and Italy. Between 6 pm and 11 pm, large, all-you-can-eat buffets are provided in the price of one drink. After a long day of sightseeing, it’s a good way to recharge.



Last night, Kristin and I tried the bar Negroni, which is supposedly the birthplace of the Negroni cocktail . We’d had a long day of work (I’m updating a travel guide for Florence) and decided to end it with two martinis for aperitivo (8 euros/person). It’s usually difficult to get a good martini in Italy, but Negroni Bar did it right.

And the buffet was top of the line. It included two types of pasta, three types of rice and couscous dishes, numerous variations on bruschetta, pizza, and salad. The bar is located on the Oltrarno side of the river, in Piazza Demidoff, where a few bars feature impressive aperitivi. Another good area is around Basilica di San Lorenzo.

Apertivo Buffet

Apertivo Buffet

Tonight I’m going out for Florence’s specialty, bistecca alla fiorentina, and in the next post I’ll focus on Tuscany’s traditional foods.

Written by and photos by Mattie Bamman for EuropeUpClose.com

Share on StumbleUponDigg thisShare on RedditShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on YummlyEmail this to someonePrint this page


  1. says

    I was in Florence for a few nights last summer, but I don’t remember seeing the aperitivo concept! Maybe we just didn’t go to the right places. But I’m bummed–that sounds really cool and affordable!

  2. says

    Hi Emily—–Though aperitivo is served in bars, cafes, and restaurants throughout the city, the best areas are Piazza Nicola Demidoff and the intersection of Via Faenza and Via del Giglio. It’s totally affordable and definitely satisfying. Hope you get to check it out on your next trip!

  3. says

    Nice post, Mattie. I agree, the Florentine buffets are a great deal and the food is generally both abundant and good. I’m reminded (in a misty-eyed sort of way) of the Happy Hour buffets in the U.S. in the 80’s. Those groaning boards of chicken wings and cheesy dips buoyed me through grad school–my one ‘hot meal’ of the week.

  4. says

    I’m convinced that aperitivo is the best invention in Italy… a great way to get food AND drinks for a cheap price! I recommend Kitch or Moyo for a good one! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *