Aperitivo is simple and uncomplicated yet so social. Some compare Aperitivo to happy hour- it is not just one hour and there are not discounted drinks and food. In sum, its the ritual of having a snack and an appetite stimulating drink before the events of a meal are about to ensue.
Usually, small snacks like olives, potato chips, finger sandwiches, finger foods, and fried bites, but some times larger buffet styles to enjoy with an appetite-stimulating cocktail.
Aperitivo usually goes on for about 2 hours between 7-9. Local Italians dress up nicely for this event and you should too so you do not look to much like a tourist.
Located close to Santa Croce square not far from Ponte Vecchio, this fashionable place is in one of the most lively streets in Florence, where you’ll also find many clubs and bars. Even if it lies in a touristy area, it’s well attended even by local Florentines. During the day, it’s a normal bar but after 6pm the atmosphere is completely different with loud music, special LED light effects and high heeled girls.
Via de’ Benci, 23/r, 50129 Firenze, Italy
Zoe / Negroni –
These two clubs are neighbors in “Diladdarno” (which means on the other side of the River Arno) and are well-known by Florentines. They are a sort of institution: everybody living in Florence has been there at least once in his or her life. Giving it a very local vibe and somewhat out of the way of all the main tourist places in Florence. Stop by on your way down from Michelangelo's peak.
They serve a good aperitif with good food included although the cost of the cocktail is not as cheap as other places (around € 9 in any case). Some outdoor seats are available, but people prefer to stand on the street, drinking and smoking and talking, of course!
Via dei Renai, 13/R, 50125 Firenze, Italy
Just across the street from the grand Piazza Santa Croce is Oibò, a trendy lounge and restaurant that attracts a stylish and refined clientele looking to enjoy a scenic lunch or a chic night out.
Sleek yet cozy, the venue's décor strikes a balance between old and new, offsetting the old stone walls with such elegant touches as a glowing orange staircase, large windows, and glossy furnishings. A hot spot for locals and the local study abroad students. Very good price for drinks and a buffet to grab some food from.
Borgo dei Greci, 1/red, 50122 Firenze, Italy
Probably the best rooftop view of Florence, sleek service and proper drinks (and thoughtful food) for a luxury hotel Aperitivo experience.
Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze, Italy
Grand Hotel Minevra-
Great location near the train station Santa Maria Novella for simple yet drinkable drinks and awesome views. Food was hit or miss. Recommending solely for convenience and views.
Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 16, 50123 Firenze, Italy
Hotel Lucchesi (Empireo Bar)-
The rooftop is spacious with the 2nd best views of the city and has more of a young, casual vibe in comparison to uber luxury Westin where I felt out of place without a fancy pair of earrings and shawl.
Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 38, 50122 Firenze, Italy