Aperitivo in Venice
Header image credit: @sophiameola
Aperitivo in Venice: cocktails, canals and cicchetti
Venice is a region that’s close to our hearts. With its picturesque waterways, charming squares and classical features, the Floating City is the ultimate setting for Aperitivo and evening drinks.
Read on to learn the etiquette for drinking and eating Aperitivo in Venice, including where to go and what to order. You’ll be living like a Venetian in no time.
What do Italians drink?
Whether you’re sitting in an 18th-century café in San Marco Square or a cosy hole-in-the-wall wine bar along the canal, you’ll find classic Venice cocktails lining the menu.
Aperol Spritz is the city’s signature drink, dating back to the Spritz Veneziano of the 1920s. Served with a splash of sparkling Prosecco straight from the Veneto wine region, this orange-hued cocktail remains one of the most popular drinks in Italy. So, why not join the locals for a glass of Spritz or two?
Top tips for drinking and Aperitivo in Venice
1. Stop by a local bacaro
Venice’s charming bacari are world-famous and always bustling with locals. Enjoy a taste of Venetian history at Osteria Alla Vedova – a popular bacaro that has stood the test of time since 1891. Or if you’re looking for something a little livelier, you can head into the Cannaregio neighbourhood for drinks and jazz.
2. Order authentic cicchetti
Pair your Aperol Spritz with a few small plates of nibbles, known as cicchetti. It’s a local custom that most Venetian bars make sure to provide. Some of our favourite dishes include:
Polpette – Italian meatballs on a stick that make the perfect snack.
Crostini – little slices of bread topped with cured meats, vegetables or soft cheese.
Baccalà mantecato – a traditional salt-cod pate, usually served on grilled polenta.
Arancini – crispy, deep-fried rice balls filled with cheese and coated in breadcrumbs.
The menus at bacari tend to change daily, so there’s always something new for you to try.
3. Look out for Aperitivo hour
Most Italians start their evenings with an Aperitivo hour at around 6pm. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a Spritz with friends and catch up before dinner. Some bars even offer special post-work deals during this time.
4. Don’t be afraid to explore
Venice is a maze of canals and bridges. Wander the waterways in the evening and you’ll soon stumble across a bustling cafe or hidden bacaro within the walls. Venture into a different neighbourhood each evening and listen out for the hum of the locals to find your favourite spot in the city.
5. Experience a true Italian Spritz at Terrazza Aperol
You can’t visit Venice without trying a perfectly-poured Aperol Spritz. Head to the brand new Terrazza Aperol in Campo Santo Stefano from 31st August for an authentic Aperitivo – complete with orange-hued Spritz and flavourful cicchetti. Choose a table inside to soak up the Venetian-inspired decor or sit on the outdoor terrace for a stunning sunset view of the canals.
Whenever you’re ready to meet the locals, we’ll be waiting to see you in Venice.