The Italian custom of aperitivo is so much more than just a pre-dinner drink: think happy hour, but better. At most aperitivo spots, you pay five euros for a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine, and get access to a buffet of appetizers, meats, cheeses, and salads. Typically, it attracts a scene of young, energetic people out for a good time.
One of the most vibrant aperitivo scenes in Siena can be found at Caffé la Pizzetta. Located a short walk from the busiest streets of downtown Siena, this spot definitely attracts a younger crowd with DJs and an upbeat, club-like vibe. Drinks are always flowing, and the food buffet is always on point, while customers mingle and dance to the music. What makes Caffé la Pizzetta really special is a sponsorship-type program, special aperitivo nights that fund raise for charities. Caffé la Pizzetta is also one of the only advertized LGBTQ-friendly places for nightlife in the city.
Most people are familiar with prosciutto, the cured Italian equivalent of ham. But dining on high-quality prosciutto, with local pecorino, and perhaps a glass of chianti? It’s an experience of a lifetime. La Prosciutteria doesn’t always serve a dedicated aperitivo hour, but is an excellent place for drinks and a bite to eat. Most popular are their meat and cheese platters, with a sampling of cheeses, salumi, olives, and crostini. It is tucked back on a side street, away from the popular tourist sites in Siena, so is perfect for a quiet and tranquil evening of excellent wine and finger foods that are very typical of the Tuscan region. It is immensely popular with the local residents due to its authenticity and charm.
Piazza del Campo is the heart of Siena and one of its most recognizable landmarks. Liberamente Osteria is just one of many restaurants lining the piazza, and it offers one of the best aperitivo spreads in the city. Expect finger sandwiches, sausages, crostini, and even arancini: warm and gooey, deep-fried balls of rice and cheese. Its location on the edge of the most popular destination in the city can make it busy with tourists at times, but the quality and selection at Liberamente Osteria keeps locals and visitors coming back.