PUNTOITALY No35 - July 2023

The aperitivo is a symbol of Italian lifestyle. It is a moment for sharing and to be social; a place where ideas are exchanged and where new ones are developed; the pleasant end to a long day. Traditionally, the aperitivo consisted in a glass of vermouth, an aromatized wine born in Turin two hundred years ago, which was accompanied by potato chips, olives and other salty snacks. This wine is an ingredient in many cocktails, for example, the famous Martini. During the eighties and nineties, in Milan, a new format called “happy hour” was born, composed of a drink and a very rich buffet which comprised, among other things, pasta, meat and vegetables. It was so rich that many people, especially younger adults, would substitute their dinner with it. This format is now outdated as it is the quality and not the quantity that must distinguish the Italian aperitivo. It must also represent a skilful combination of food and beverage. Official identikit Last year, Federico Gordini, founder of Milano Wine Week Group, a well-known Milanese organization specialized in the food and wine sector, wanted to celebrate this ritual by launching the World Aperitivo Day. It is to be celebrated on May 26th of every year. The event has the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and of the Italian Trade Agency for the foreign promotion and internationalization of Italian companies. On this occasion, the Manifesto of the Aperitivo was drafted, which lists ten rules that describe the best practices, codifying its founding values. These rules must be followed in order to create a real Italian-style aperitivo. It was also announced that in 2023, there would be the first edition of the Aperitivo Festival. In fact, this year in Milan from May 26-28, the Festival entertained the public and professionals with tastings, masterclasses, samplings and live music. There were fifteen of the most expert international mixologists and over four thousand people participated in the event. “This edition starts right in the Tortona area where Fuorisalone was born” - explained Federico Gordini, president of MWW Group - “We believe that food is an element missing at the event dedicated to Design”. In 2025, in fact, for the first time, the Fuorisalone will be dedicated to food and to the aperitivo, and it take place simultaneously with the TuttoFood tradeshow. A tradition that always stays alive The “aperitivo”, or Italian happy hour, has always been an essential moment in the routines of Italians. It is a true ritual characterized by peculiar aspects. 63