Easy Aperitivo or Apericena (Appetizer+Dinner) Ideas

This is what I mean with a simple, genuine, well-done “apericena”.

I have been working for caterers for years, and I’ve made my idea on what it works and what it is good: a mixture of high quality food, genuine and a touch of style.

The one you see in the photos was organized for a Baptism party. Beginning at 5.50 pm this family and friends gathering is a snack and together aperitivo and dinner.

Find here some creative serving suggestions: serving glasses and plates are important as much as the way you cut the food and the way you match the colours (the matching colour thing is an Italian obsession, I know, but still what looks good is even more delicious).

Aperol Spritz, Sicilian lemonade and orange juice, bruschetta, ciabatta with salame, spring and summer vegetable salad with goat cheese, melon (melone) and watermelon (anguria).

Find how to do the Aperol Spritz. Aperol has a slightly bitter taste because it is made with bitter orange, gentian and rhubarb, among other roots. It has a relatively low alcohol content and it is very thirst quenching: with ice and a slice of orange is perfect for  a warm summer aperitivo.


  • Ice
  • 3 parts Prosecco
  • 2 parts Aperol
  • 1 part soda water
  • Slice of orange


Fill a tumbler  with ice. Fill the glass with Prosecco, add  Aperol and a dash of soda. Stir well, then add the orange slice.



  • 2 lbs. fresh tomatoes
  • 2cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste and fresh ground pepper if you like
  • Italian ciabatta


Chop the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Season with extra virgin olive oil and fresh basel leaves. Add salt to taste (you do not need much salt if tomatoes are good and tasty, try to choose a good quality and mature). Toast the slices of ciabatta in an oven or on a roasting pan: 2 minutes each of the 2 sides. Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub over one side of the toast.

Top the toasts with chopped tomatoes, just before serving or, even better, place a nice jug with the seasoned tomatoes and let the people top their own slice.


(Thanks to “Gli amici del Galli” for having helped me to prepare this buffet, to Ruggero Farina for the Aperol photo and Alessandro Rovelli for the other photos)