In Milan, when the clock strikes 6pm and the sun starts to slowly set, something magical tends to happen. As you walk around the city, you can hear the ‘shuck shuck’ of cocktail shakers and drinks being poured – it’s time for Aperitivo Hour! As you know, in Italy, pre-dinner drinking is a way of life and in Milan, traditional Aperitivo bars are aplenty. It can be hard to know where to begin, so we’re sharing with you our top spots in Milan for a Negroni and cicchetti. Chin Chin!
Rita is one of Italy’s top 10 cocktails bars and is a beloved classic in Milan’s fantastic cocktail scene. Located on the Naviglio Grande, swept aside from the hustle and bustle of ‘movida,’ this locale is a top spot for Aperitivo gatherings with family and friends that oftentimes, turn into an entire evening affair. Behind the bar, longtime owner Edoardo Nono and his partners serve uniquely named cocktails using the freshest, most high-quality ingredients and are accompanied by crudité, canapes and small tasting dishes prepared by Rita’s chef.
Address: Via A. Fumagalli, 1
Imagine sipping on cocktails on a luxury cruise liner in the centre of Milan? You can now at the beautiful Octavius cocktail bar, located on the first floor of the Replay flagship store on Piazza Gae Aulenti, which is shaped like a gorgeous boat. Creamy leather seating and a plush wooden bar was actually designed by the same team behind the Zoolander film set. With 500 premium spirits, the cocktails are amongst the best in Milan. After Aperitivo hour, head to the Stage restaurant on the same floor for some of the most stunning food that matches the cocktails perfectly. Enjoy!
Address: Piazza Gae Aulenti, 4a, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Ceresio 7 is a place to be and be seen. Owned by fashion brand DSquared2, this locale is one of the most popular bars in Milan for a reason. On any given day, Milan’s elite flock here to enjoy a glamorous Aperitivo on the rooftop of an old 1930s industrial building. In addition to two panoramic swimming pools, the venue boasts unrivalled views over Porta Nuova. Happy Hour is fabulous, including a series of signature cocktails accompanied by classic light bites. Be sure to book ahead – this is a beautiful bar you don’t want to miss out on the next time you are in Milan.
Address: via Ceresio, 7
A unique spot in Navigli, Mag Café has a dazzling array of cocktails with an ever-changing drinks menu. Inside, you’ll feel as though you have stepped back in time to the roaring 20’s – bartenders are dressed in braces serving up extraordinary cocktails in vintage glassware. Outside, there is a small terrace, where if you are lucky enough to grab a seat, you will enjoy romantic canal-side views as you sip on your cocktail and enjoy Italian nibbles.
Address: Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Il Foyer at The Four Seasons
Only a stone’s throw away from the major fashion houses, Il Foyer at The Four Seasons is one of the most stylish yet laid back options for Aperitivo hour in Milan. It has a quiet, secluded charm and serves up the most elegant stiff drinks alongside light fare. In the winter, the fireplace fills the room with warmth whilst a live pianist performs all year round, making Il Foyer one of the most romantic spots for a relaxing Aperitivo.
Address: Via Gesù, 6/8, 20121 Milano MI, Italy