“What type of Pirlo would you like?” asked Nicoletta as we were sitting at a quiet outdoor café with a view of Lake Garda in the distance. “With Campari or Aperol?” Well, since I didn’t know what the heck a Pirlo was I said I’d try one of each. I soon learned that a Pirlo is an aperitif made with ice, Campari or Aperol, Prosecco, a bit of soda water (club soda, seltzer) called “selz”, a slice of orange…and voilà you have a Pirlo…or is it a Spritz? Well, it depends exactly where you’re imbibing because the same aperitif has two different names depending on where in Northern Italy you’re drinking- Brescia or the Veneto.
In the Veneto, it’s a Spritz and they might not know what you’re talking about if you asked for a Pirlo and vice versa. Whatever you call it, it’s a refreshing and light cocktail that blends the fruit and herbal flavors of the liquor (Campari or Aperol) with the sparkles and bubbles of Prosecco. Invented in 1860, Campari with its dark red color, has a pleasant bitter essence flavor with an alcoholic content over 20%. Owned by Campari, bright orange colored Aperol, created in 1919, has 11% alcohol. Both spirits are made with a multitude of top secret herbs so in my opinion, for sure they have medicinal purposes.
Giorgio shows us how to make a Spritz (scroll down) at his bar Caffe Club ( Via Alessandro Manzoni 23, Montebelluna) in the Veneto. But if his bar was located in Brescia, he’d be creating a Pirlo. So call it what you want…try it with Campari, then try another with Aperol. Let me know …
I’m not just enthusiastic about travel—I live travel, each and every day. From plotting out my clients’ next great escape, to logging airmiles on my own adventures (I always have a suitcase packed and at the ready!), travel drives me in everything I do.
I’ve learned a few things along the way, and I’d love to share them with you. Learn a bit more about my journey to founding my own travel agency—it involves quite a few glasses of Italian wine!