Wineries, bistros, cocktail bars and terraces... Here’s our list of places to celebrate happy hour, post-lockdown.
14 Aug 2020
It’s time to get back to the habits we’ve lost or forgotten… Time to go back to enjoying those little moments of leisure and socializing that suddenly became a distant memory. When Italy entered Phase 2, the aperitif (finally) returned to Milan. The aperitif is Milan’s true symbol, a moment of conviviality that lifts everybody’s spirits after a hard day’s work, bringing people together with friends and colleagues around a Spritz or the latest trendy cocktail. What’s it to be tonight, a Moscow Mule or Pink Gin? Reservations are almost always de rigueur, and we all know the safety rules by now (a social distance of at least one metre, compulsory masks when not seated at the table, disposable menus, bans on group gatherings). That said, the list of venues to try out in Milan is as long and crowded as ever, what with the evergreens and new reopenings... So here they are, ladies and gentlemen: our tips for an aperitif in town.
A view out over the Milanese skyline and pool-side tables make this one of Milan’s most glamorous and exclusive rooftops for an aperitif. The warm, elegant environment is ideal for savouring a prestigious collection of spirits and a large selection of drinks mixed by barmen trained “old school” American style… with a decidedly Italian twist.
If, after your aperitif, you feel like grabbing a bite to eat, why not drop into owner Elio Sironi’s restaurant and taste his creations. The experience is likely to surprise you.
In an authentic 18th-century farmhouse in the Porta Romana area, Un Posto a Milano is a bar, restaurant, guesthouse and the perfect place to enjoy an aperitif al fresco. Sample the truly locally-grown dishes and appetizers (a philosophy that spans every stage of the production chain in terms of environmental resources, craftsmanship, innovation and experience) along with a draught or bottled craft beer, glass of wine, personalized cocktail or craft distillate.
In a small, private street at the start of Via Sarpi, in the multi-ethnic heart of Milan’s Chinatown, the Otto restaurant has become an institution on the Milanese aperitif scene. The venue doubles as a coworking space, and is also a popular destination for Sunday brunch. Over to the founders of Otto: “We wanted to open a bar that would be a meeting place, a landmark, and feel like home to our guests.” They have totally succeeded in their mission. Tasting is believing!
The advent of summer has led to pools reopening, including the pool owned by the Franco Parenti Theatre, known to the Milanese as “Mysterious Baths”. Once again, the venue is offering aperitifs under the stars until 11pm. The unique, exclusive original 1930s complex was renovated and redeveloped by architect Michele De Lucchi. It makes for a truly unmissable Instagram location!
Colorful tables and a large courtyard in Milan’s coolest neighborhood make Frida one of the top nightspots in Isola, which means it is one of the most popular places for Milanesi to go after 6pm. Known for its apparently “scruffy” location and its vibrant atmosphere, Frida happily serves a selection of more than 80 cocktails (including absinthe, one of their specialties) and a rich buffet every night from 6.30 pm to 9 pm. And if you’re caught short with a sudden attack of shoppingitis, there’s a must-see eco-fashion store bang opposite. What could be more bohemian?
Where to stay in Milan?
In Milan as elsewhere, the Gruppo UNA offers a variety of solutions to satisfy the wishes of every guest. Luxury and elegance meet near the Duomo of Milan in the town centre at Maison Milano | UNA Esperienze; UNAHOTELS Century Milan is an elegant suite hotel near Porta Nuova; and UNAHOTELS Cusani Milano is just a stone’s throw from the Castello Sforzesco.