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Aperitivo is an amazing concept that the Italians have perfected, the idea is that since they dine so late there is a period of time between work and dinner where they can gather, have a cocktail and eat a little something to hold them over before dinner. Kinda sounds like happy hour right or Tapas in Spain? Well it has the basic structure as happy hour: drinks, certain hours and some food but its a little different in its execution. For the Italians, Aperitivo is more about the food (but then what isn’t in Italy?). How it works is you pay a certain amount for a cocktail or beverage and then you get free food. You will find places with Aperitivo all over Italy with some just having small snacks and sandwiches and others with different pasta salads, veggie dishes, dessert, basically at these Aperitivo bars you could make a whole meal out of them and just skip dinner.
At Fluid, I would do just that. I discovered Fluid on Via Governo Vecchio near Piazza Navona, when I was a student at the University of California, Rome Campus just up the road and it quickly became my favorite Aperitivo spot and still is. Fluid has amazing fresh fruit cocktails and tons of them, their menu is more of a book, and they are all relatively inexpensive. Some of my favorites were the Prosecco cocktails with fresh muddled fruit, so incredibly refreshing in the hot weather. The second reason I love Fluid is the decor, it has a water vibe which goes with the name. As soon as you enter you are greeted by a squishy gel floor with glitter in it, it looks like those place mats I used to have when I was little and would play with throughout dinner, so they got me there. They have a long bar that extends the length of the narrow room made up of illuminated stones and then at the back of the room they have a rock wall that slowly fades in and out of different colors with water running down. It is truly a laid back Italian lounge vibe.
Fluid’s best aspect, for me anyways, is the food. To take part in Aperitivo all you have to do is buy a cocktail for 8e or more and then you are presented with a bar filled with food. The long bar is always covered with delicious food from pasta and rice salads to fried mozzarella and arancini (rice balls stuffed with mozzarella), and fresh tomatoes and veggies; you definitely do not go hungry here. Now in my typical American way I would always go back for seconds and thirds and occasionally fourths (the plates were tiny and the food was soooo goood!) but most people pick a few favorites and nibble while they have their cocktails. Fluid is great not only for the food but because it is centrally located, I have been to a few other great Aperitivos but they all seem to be outside the city center, but Fluid is right next to Piazza Navona and very close to Osteria Del Pegno and Cul de Sac (two of my favorite restaurants in Rome) and across the street from Baffetto’s, an amazing pizza place that always has a line so you know its great (and believe me Italians do not like to wait for dinner). So Fluid is definitely my favorite stop for an Aperitivo in Rome, especially after a long day of touring when all you want is a cocktail, some fried mozzarella and maybe some pineapple drizzled with nutella!
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