Traditions have always been very important in my family. We love rituals and routines, especially in the summer. The long, lazy summer days are best punctuated by a consistent, relaxing ritual.
In June 2018, my sister, mom and I visited a sleepy little town called Crema in the northern Lombardy region of Italy. This Italian village is home to many filming locations fromone of our favorite films Call Me By Your Name, and after watching the movie, we just couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit.
We spent five gorgeous sun-soaked days riding bikes through the countryside, popping into cheese and pasta shops, and sampling every flavor the local gelato shop had to offer. We were completely charmed by the slow pace of life. 10pm dinners, gelato for lunch, and espresso for breakfast became our routine. And we loved every second of it.
Best of all, we started an evening tradition of aperitivo in the town square. Each night before our late pasta dinner, we would meet at a little bistro across from the village cathedral. The Italians have a delicious tradition of aperitivo hour in the evening, and we decided to follow suit. We would order a round of Aperol Spritzes (obviously), and it would always come with a little spread of chips, nuts, and cheese to go with it.
We would spend an hour (or two or three) relaxing in the square, people watching, and soaking in the evening air. As we slowly sipped our spritzes, we fell in love with the little town and this simple ritual.
For the rest of the summer, we continued aperitivo at home. Each night, we'd make our own little snack spread in our Bay Area backyard and make spritzes of our own. It wasn't quite the same scenery as Crema, but it still gave us the chance to chat, eat, and enjoy each other's company in the summer air.
To create a summer aperitivo ritual of your own, we recommend perfecting the Italian classic cocktail - the Aperol Spritz. Click here for our favorite recipe. Then, add snacks as you please. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.