We are inside Galleria Vittorio Emanouele II, one of Milan’s most regognisable landmarks, the so called salotto, as Italians use to call their most elegant squares. There, right in the heart of the Italian capital of fashion and design, opposite the emblematic Duomo, glamour and style are evident all around. In the arcade of La Galleria itself, with the pioneering for its time cross structure of iron and glass and its exquisite frescoes. In the sparkling window shops of fashion houses and luxury brands that showcase the most forward of international trends. And even in the various dining and drinking options inside the Galleria, which add a touch of genuine Italian flair to your night out in the city that’s synonym of style.
Among them, Camparino και Aperol Terrazza bars will colour your night in passionate red or optimistic orange, confirming that for Italians the aperitivo is a ritual they enjoy with insuperable taste.
If you’re a fun of Aperol, then choose Aperol Terrazza bar on the right wing of the Galleria and take the lift to the second floor, where you’ll find its spectacular balcony. Let the bright orange that lights up the uniquely designed space, lift your spirit up. Let your eyesight wander above the hundreds of statues and sharp towers that decorate the city’s absolute symbol, the gothic Duomo. Let Aperol Spritz fill you with its flavour and mark the beginning of a night full of Milanese glamour.
In the interior, grey walls give their way to mirrors and are being brighten up by orange surfaces full of curves that imitate the movement of a pouring drink. The whole impression simply justifies why Italian design has conquered the entire world. The space is elegant, there are d.j. sets at nights, beats become more intense as the sun sets and young crowds fill the bar and mostly the sought-after tables in the balcony with the panoramic view.
Standing out there on the balcony, you truly fell you can reach out and touch the Duomo and so posing for an Instagram photo with a cocktail in hand and the impressively lit Cathedral in the background is non-stop. In the meantime, the stylish staff, all dressed in black and wearing orange braces, prepares wonderful aperitivi, all based in the famous Italian drink, that lends its name to the bar. All you have to do, is just order an Aperol Spritz, which stays true to its 70 year old recipe, and raise a toast to Milanese nights.
Don’t leave the Galleria, because from 1919 and Barbieri brothers’ Aperol we step even further back in time, in 1915 when Davide Campari opens the historic bar Camparino on the left corner of the arcade’s main entrance, right opposite Piazza del Duomo. And ever since, everything here seems to preserve but also bring out the bar’s unique history. The scarlet red colour of the world’s most renowned vermouth sets the tone, while the flawlessly arranged bottles create an impressive background for the Bar di Passo on the ground floor.
Although these days Camparino spreads across two floors, with a minimalistic bar of glass and wood dominating the upper ground, it’s in the area of the ground floor bar – which remains unchanged – that you’ll soak up the genuine atmosphere and the preparation ritual of a perfect Negroni, an Americano or an iconic Campari Seltz. The setting at Bar di Passo is comprised by the original, wooden, corner bar in Art Nouveau style, with iron cast details, old mirrors, mosaics and paintings, all created exclusively for Camparino by important Italian artists and craftsmen. Of course, the scenery is completed and comes alive in a perfectly stylish way by the experienced bartenders, all in white jackets, who really seem to be following a choreography as they pour chilled Campari in long-stemmed glasses, topping them up with soda that comes from the same – pioneering for their time – pumps that still remain behind the bar. It’s exactly by this bar where you can mingle with locals early in the evening, enjoy your cocktail and the whole ritual and feel a part of the history of this exquisite place.
Because it’s true that whether you prefer an Aperol or a Campari, straight on or in a cocktail, in these two bars you don’t just enjoy a drink. You become a part of the history of a legend: that of the Italian aperitivo.