5 Arty Bars For An Elegant Aperitivo in Milan

Our favorite flamboyant, chic and glitzy bars in town.

Bar Basso was the first-ever bar in Milan to introduce the “aperitivo” to everyday people. Pierpaolo Ferrari and Maurizio Cattelan

Milan offers a wonderful, distinctive culture that goes beyond the Duomo’s exquisite, breath-taking architecture, the glitz of the city’s illustrious fashion week, and the imposing walls of 15th-century Sforzesco Castle.

It is undeniably cosmopolitan while yet remaining rooted in history, and it also happens to be the spiritual home of the aperitivo.

We’ve rounded up 5 vibrant bars for an arty aperitivo to get a taste of history.

Al Camparino

Opened in 1915 by Gaspare Campari, this elegant, high-ceilinged bar is an icon of the city and its eternal mix of tradition and innovation. Located on the corner of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, it is the perfect place to enjoy the history of the famous aperitivo.

Bar Basso

A true cult bar for sophisticated drinking devotees serving the signature Negroni Sbagliatos, Bar Basso was the first-ever bar in Milan to introduce the “aperitivo” to everyday people and today it is the gathering of the international creative class that transits through Milan.

Bar Jamaica

This centenary bar, café and bistro with an illustrious history is located in the lively and artistic area of Brera. It is the soul of the neighborhood, and it was once often frequented by artists such as Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni.

Il baretto al Baglioni

Il Baretto is certainly Milan’s most chic clubhouse. This historic Milanese landmark is the place to be for Milanese jetsetters, and the meeting point for all VIPs before opening night at Teatro La Scala.


Little has changed at this historic Milanese pasticceria founded in 1936. Its interior brims with old-world charm; waiters wear formal attire; and Signor Cucchi still patiently works the cash register. Attracting a mixed crowd of sciure (posh Milanese women), fashionable types and tourists, it’s a great spot to sit and people-watch while indulging in a glass of champagne.

Gianmaria Biancuzzi is executive editor of Milano Art Guide.