Italian American Club Members Host Aperitivo Events

Guests enjoying the aperitivo at Nevin Nelson’s home

Melissa D’Onofrio

On March 14, five Italian American Club members generously opened their homes to host our annual aperitivo parties. The weather was not as perfect as in previous years, but the cloudy skies did not interfere with the festivities or dampen the party mood of the participants.

The aperitivo began in Italy at the end of the 18th Century, and is an Italian cultural ritual. The word “aperitivo” is derived from the Latin “aperire,” meaning “to open,” and in this case, meaning “to open” the stomach before dinner. Accordingly, for centuries Italians have said “cin cin” (cheers!) over drinks and appetizers in the early evening hours between work and dinner.

The aperitivo is a bit like our American cocktail hour, but traditionally more calm and intimate than the American “happy hour.” Our club’s version of the aperitivo is to host small groups in members’ homes, with participants bringing appetizers to share. The more intimate nature of these events allows members to do what the Italians have done so well for centuries … slow down, take a break from the regular routine, and spend quality time with family and friends while enjoying good food and drinks.

Participants reported enjoying the Italian trivia game and the delicious Italian Limoncello cake at the Buck’s home. The most enjoyable part of the evening for many at all five venues, however, was meeting new people and making new friends.

Many, many thanks to this year’s gracious hosts: Bev and Tom Buck, Norma and Dennis Whitley, Susie Malone and Bob Van Slyke, Nevin Nelson, and Shoray and Dale Wolfe. Because we were so fortunate to have five hosts, 66 members were able to participate. A special thanks to Mary Flynn for her time and effort in planning and organizing the event!