Savouring a late-afternoon or evening beverage has its own name in Italy – aperitivo. Italians know that you’ve got to stop, sit back and relax into your surroundings when having a drink. Before, during or after aperitivo hour, be sure to try something authentic.

Coffee

Coffee is a true artform in Italy and is highly regarded, so expect to see cafes (known as a bar in Italian) packed full of locals standing and sipping an espresso at any time of the day. While cappuccinos are on the menu, it’s customary to only drink milk-based coffees in the morning – after then, you might get a strange look from the barista. Be careful, too – ‘latte’ in Italian just means milk, so if you want a coffee instead of a glass of milk, order a ‘caffe latte’.

Wine

Would you care for a glass of vino? Wine in Italy flows almost more than water, but ordering a glass with all the different types of labels and varietals on offer may be daunting. Look out for DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) or DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) classifications, which act to protect the quality of Italian wine. DOCG is the highest classification, so you’ll know you’re tasting some top-notch stuff.

Prosecco

Named after the village of the same name, this (usually) sparkling style of wine is made from the glera grape and has a crisp and aromatic flavour, often with hints of summer fruits. It’s drunk before a meal and Italians use it in a wide range of homegrown cocktails like the Venetian sgroppino, where it's combined with vodka and lemon sorbet.

Granita

Is this a food or a drink? Well, it depends whether you use a straw or a spoon! Different flavours of granita are found throughout Italy – berries, lemon, coffee – and Sicily has the thickest type of icy goodness. Whatever variation you choose, it’s delicious.

Campari

This liqueur is the bigger, bolder sibling of Aperol – a crimson and herbaceous concoction commonly found on an aperitivo menu or in some strong alcohol-heavy cocktails. It can have up to 28% alcohol content, so a little goes a long way.

Negroni

What’s a boozy cocktail that Campari features in? A Negroni, of course. This is a classic mixture of gin, Campari and vermouth, with a nice large ice block and a garnish of orange. It is said that this cocktail was invented in Florence by a patron who demanded the bartender replace the soda in an Americano with gin. Must’ve needed a stiff drink that night.

Veneziano

Heard of a Veneziano? Possibly not. Heard of an Aperol Spritz? Probably yes, and lucky for you they’re the same thing. There is no one recipe for this type of spritz – different liqueurs (such as Campari) can be used, and select garnishes depending on the type of alcohol. Either or, it’s the perfect companion for a warm summer’s evening.

Digestivo

Just as an aperitivo prepares your stomach for a meal, Italy has a selection of digestivos with herbal properties to aid in digestion. There’s Amari, Limoncello, Grappa, Sambuca and many more. 

Read more about drinking water in Italy

 

White wine is poured in Italy

 

 

Click to read what to eat in Italy

Click to return to Italy FAQs

Our tours in Italy

4 Days From 1315

See a different side to the Veneto region with this four-day Intrepid Retreat based in...

8 Days From 2355

Travel to Italy on a tour from Rome to Amalfi and explore the best of the region....

14 Days From 4180

Immerse yourself in classic culture, history and incredible sights on this Best of...

8 Days From 2000

See the best of Italy – Venice, La Spezia, Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome – in eight...

15 Days From 3055

Explore charming Central Europe from Germany to Italy on a 15-day Lonely Planet...

Tailor-Made trips

Take two or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

8 Days From 2705

Mountains, forests and beaches – soak up the spectacular scenery of Italy’s Amalfi...

10 Days From 4050

Travel to Italy and savour the many flavours of this gastronomic haven on a journey...

8 Days From 2600

Encounter the picturesque hills and olive groves of Tuscany on this cycling adventure...

8 Days From 2488

Set sail across the clear blue waters of Sardinia, exploring rugged coastlines, wild...

8 Days From 3790

Take a small-ship adventure cruise along Croatia's northern coast from Split to Venice....

7 Days From 2527

Sail Italy’s Amalfi Coast, exploring the Bay of Naples, Capri, Amalfi and Procida...

10 Days From 2200

Travel with Lonely Planet and Intrepid from Split to Venice in 10 days, stopping at...

8 Days From 2730

Walk into a world that's a play of colourful houses and blue sea as you amble between...

15 Days From 4995

Visit Spain, France and Italy on this European adventure. Discover gothic architecture...

10 Days From 2910

Take a tour through Italy’s less-visited southern region, absorbing the beauty of...

4 Days From 1301

Set sail along Italy’s Amalfi Coast in four days with Intrepid, cruising to the scenic...

4 Days From 1301

Sail Italy’s Amalfi Coast from the colourful village of Procida, through ancient worlds...

15 Days From 5160

Discover the secrets of Calabria and the highlights of Sicily on this 15-day adventure...

15 Days From 2687

Discover Central Europe on this 15-day journey from Germany to Italy. Start in Berlin,...

10 Days From 3815

Make your way from Venice to Vienna on this ten-day adventure, taking in the delights...

8 Days From 4930

Cruise the Adriatic coast, navigating the coastlines of Croatia, Montenegro, Albania,...

8 Days From 3250

Pamper the appetite and treat the senses on this exquisite journey through Italy’s Lake...

22 Days From 4915

Discover Central Europe’s most romantic cities on a 22-day Lonely Planet Experience...

8 Days From 3790

Intrepid's 8-day adventure cruise down Croatia's northern coast. Visit Krk, Zadar,...

8 Days From 2425

Visit Italy and tour through the countryside of Umbria. Travel to Italy's sacred sites...

15 Days From 4805

Discover la bella Italia on this intoxicating Italy Uncovered tour. Travel from Venice...

21 Days From 6620

Discover why Italy is one of the world's premier destinations on this culture-rich tour...

19 Days From 3860

Experience Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia,...

22 Days From 5115

Discover Central Europe and Italy on this 22-day journey from Germany to Italy. Start...

8 Days From 2915

See Italy in the cooler months, hitting Rome, Florence, Pisa and Bologna before...

8 Days From 3270

Explore the traditional delights of Italian cuisine while travelling through the...

8 Days From 2140

Travel from Venice to Rome and the Vatican via Florence and Italy's riviera. The...

8 Days From 2945

From the ruins of Rome, to the ancient city of Pompeii and the seaside delights of...

17 Days From 5105

Kick off this Roman holiday in Rome, the heart of Italy. Live history as you explore...

8 Days From 3330

Visit Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa and Rome on an exciting 8-day family holiday through...

24 Days From 7445

From Venetian canals to the busy Bari port, explore the best of Italy on this...

36 Days From 9460

Visit Spain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy plus a host of secrets in...

8 Days From 4005

Join Intrepid’s very first vegan-themed trip in Italy, from Venice to Rome via Bologna,...

15 Days From 6645

Indulge your tastebuds on a tour of northern and southern Italy, from Venice to Bologna...

15 Days From 7075

Take in Croatia’s beauty while sailing from Dubrovnik to Italy's Venice, dropping...

17 Days From 4080

Enjoy a European tasting platter on this 17-day Lonely Planet Experience, powered by...

26 Days From 5810

Set out from Hungary with Lonely Planet and Intrepid to the cultures and cuisines of...

8 Days From 3330

Indulge your taste buds on a tour of southern Italy, visiting Rome, Bari, Matera and...

29 Days From 7515

Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary,...

22 Days From 7290

Travel to Pompeii, Amalfi, the Aeolian Islands, Taormina and Mt Etna on a tour from...

36 Days From 9530

Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Budapest, Krakow, Ljubljana, Venice – an...

43 Days From 11410

Embark on a classic 43-day European Lonely Planet Experience that passes by Valencia,...

29 Days From 9965

Travel on an epic journey from Venice to Sicily and explore the best of Italy. This...

23 Days From 7765

See northern Italy’s iconic sights and taste quintessential cuisine on a 24-day trip...

15 Days From 7075

Meet your group in Venice and then set sail from Opatija, dropping anchor at Krk, Rab,...