Though the Milanesi invented it, the Romans definitely perfected it. What are we talking about here? Aperitivo. It's the Italian version of happy hour and if you haven't been to one yet, you need to hop on the bandwagon! Rome is sprawling with hip, funky little spots where you can jump in on the fun where the alcohol is not the main event. Rather, it's the food. Don't expect to find 2-for-1 drink specials at any of these places. Italians use aperitivo time to stock up on the food and to have good old fashioned conversation with friends.
So what is an aperitivo you ask? An aperitivo (aperitif) is a before dinner drink that can be alcoholic or non that's taken usually with a plate of snacks, chips, olives and/or finger food. The price of an aperitivo will typically set you back anywhere from 6-12 euros depending on where you go. Some places like Freni and Frizioni put on an elaborate buffet spread (in their case, completely vegetarian) where you can eat all you like for the price of your drink. Other formats like at Rome's newest hotspot, Romeo Chef and Baker, offer a menu of bar snacks you can order to go with your expertly crafted cocktail (think Asian style dumplings and even mini vegetarian tacos).
For gin lovers, head to The Gin Corner - with over 100 bottles of the stuff on their shelf, you won't leave disappointed and for a stones throw from the Colosseum affair, why not try the deliciously adventurous selection at the super cool Caffe Propaganda.
Whether it's a quaint wine bar, rowdy hotspot or swish new venue you're after, here's 10 of Rome's best.