Valley Overseas: Tivo Tuesday

Welcome to Valley Overseas. We’ll hear from students exploring new lands full of strange customs, seemingly impenetrable language barriers, and Euro-trash. They’ll dish out the good, bad and the ugly of living in a home-stay, and the tales of discount airlines. From mixed-up vocab to drool-worthy people in fantastic fashions, let us show you the experiences of a lifetime.

tivoComing to a country of beauty and relaxation has been one of the most wonderful changes encountered so far on my semester abroad. Milan is said to be the one Italian city where its population is obsessed with working. However, my experiences have given me the opposite impression.

One night, my roommates and I got completely dolled up to fit in with the high fashion Milan nighttime scene, where we were attempting to get a dinner table at Rossopomodoro. Much to our surprise, that restaurant, and each surrounding dinner restaurant were not seating customers until 7:30. All that was being served in terms of food were aperitivos.

With our stomachs grumbling, we reluctantly entered a smaller restaurant and bar to try out the infamous aperitvo experience. We soon came to realize that aperitvos are not a hindrance to our nighttime dining experience, but are instead a genius idea and perfect for student travelers on a budget.

Aperitivos are the Italian version of New York’s happy hour. Being on the European, more relaxed schedule, Italians generally eat dinner starting at about nine pm. Claiming the pre-dinner hours, aperitivos are served from about 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Upon our comfortable couch seating, we were presented with a drink menu, which consisted of different wines and cocktails all running at 8 euro. After ordering and paying for our drinks, we were informed that the beautiful display of delicious Italian finger food was at our disposal. In other American words, after buying a beverage, customers had complete access to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

There was everything. Fresh mozzarella, mini pizzas, pasta carbonara, proscuitto , bruschetta – the list goes on. Overwhelmed and excited by all the tasty options, we took indulgence to the next level. It’s only necessary that you try every single dish offered, right?

Our bellies were more than full from the 8-euro aperitivo. It was then when we realized that aperitivos were the most efficient and economical way of eating out.  Ordering one drink buys you a full dinner. Because of convenient and wallet-friendly Italian happy hour, “’Tivo Tuesday” has become a staple in my weekly abroad routine.