why don't american's do {aperitivo?}

here at cafe roma with the group wendy, me, and veronica, scott,  leo and elizabeth with frank taking the photo, it's a very famous bar in alassio.
you've probably noticed my tweets and fb pics of aperitivo. here in italy. all summer long i enjoy the great tradition of having cocktails and yummy nibbles with friends. there are many bars in our town that offer this pre dinner activity. the story is that this tradition started in milan. it's "italian"happy hour , ( however, about the only thing it has in common with american happy hour is the hour part). italians rarely offer alcohol without a snack. drinking on an empty stomach is not encouraged... makes sense...right?

here wendy, veronica and i toast to the evening and good friends
food snacks consist of , small bites and interesting combinations, of course there is the classic mozzarella, and tomato and basil skewers, wrapped breadsticks with parma ham figs, and salami.

the most unusual thing offered with drinks in this region is potato chips. i always find it a funny choice, but that does not stop us from eating them:)
a spritzer is the current range in apperitivi (here, you see scott, leo and elizabeth toasting with them), actually a very low in alcohol refreshing cocktail, that is poured straight out of a bottle. frank had a peroni, me a lychee martini veronica a prosecco. great start to an evening with friends.
                              
even in monaco we stopped at the hotel de paris for apperitivi. i think this is something to bring to the u.s. great idea...salute!