Italy Travel

A Crodino Moment in Milan

On a short trip to Italy this summer (Cinque Terre via Milan and Genoa), my German friend introduced me to Crodino, a non-alcoholic bitter drink served with ice and sometimes water, which I immediately fell in love with. It tasted like Campari and it was just great on a summer day.

Having been to Italy 7 – 8 times before, I wonder why I’d never heard of this drink before. They seemed to have it everywhere, even if it wasn’t on the menu.

I actually had a very relaxing Crodino moment in Milan during this trip, at a place called Aperole Terrazza by the Duomo. The menu at Aperole Terrazza priced the drink at 10 euro, which I was happily willing to pay just to get away from the peddlers and miscellaneous crowds of Milan’s greatest attraction, the cathedral. The service was very dismissive but it didn’t dampen my spirits.

Why I’d come there at all was nagging at the back of my head, but this cathedral had a pull on me and I’d thought it a good starting point to navigate to other places (namely a piadina place I’d walked past earlier, not far).

When I was ready to pay, I received some good news: they only charged me 6 euro for my drink. Why? I don’t know. But it felt like a bargain.

The terrace is located on the 2nd floor right next to the Duomo with a great view of it all. There was plenty of peace and quiet, barely no other guests, just soft jazz music playing in the background. Warm chips were included with the aperitif. And I didn’t have to guard my bag from pickpockets because the terrace wasn’t accessible from the street.

You might feel like 6 euros is a lot for a drink, but for me, living day-to-day in an expensive Nordic capital, it’s an okay price. After all, I’m not on holiday in Italy every day. Earlier the same day, I’d had an excellent cappuccino at a random cafe for 1,80 eur and I’d felt like I’d won the lottery! At home, a cappuccino would be around 4 euro. So no complaints here! I was on a winning streak!

As the years have gone by, I’ve slowly turned into a lazyish, self-indulgent traveler. If all I want to do in Milan is try local food and drinks, then so be it. This time around, that little terrazza break was definitely my favorite moment in Milan.

When I got home, I ordered some Crodinos online. They’re chilling in the fridge as we speak…

52 replies on “A Crodino Moment in Milan”

Lovely photos. Your drink sounds like an Aperol Spritz without the alcohol. I had never heard of them until my trip to Italy (Venice) in April but they were everywhere. I grew to enjoy them. So lots of the drinks you were seeing might have had alcohol. Must go to Milan someday.

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Yes, it is similar to Aperol Spritz, I think it’s even used in it. The menu had alcoholic drinks seperately, they were a bit pricier… But who knows what part of the price list I was looking at… 😊 Thanks for your kind comment! (Venice is so pretty!)

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Do you recommend Milan for a weekend? 🙂 I have been told that there’s nothing much to do there besides the cathedral. I do not like big cities that much unless it’s Prague or Barcelona 🙂 Also I don’t care for shopping. So I am not sure if Milan has more things to offer.

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Personally, I’m not crazy about Milan, especially compared to what else Italy has to offer. This was my second time there, just because that’s where my flights went. Like you said, there’s not much to do except shop – and eat. Some art and history, sure, as everywhere in Italy, but I think for example Florence is way better for art and Rome for history. In Italy, I would recommend touring around and doing short visits to many places, because there’s so much to see. I remember liking Bologna, Padova, Florence, Rimini, Riccione, Venice, San Remo, Bergamo, La Spezia, etc. And all the small villages in between.

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Heheh, excellent. I’ve never heard of Crodino either, but I’m more of a scotch chick, if it’s not red wine with my meal. Could be a northern Italy thing. The only time I was in Milan was with a Slovenian basketball tifosi group. We came to cheer for our team and we won. Our busses needed police escort throughout. Sister and me were the only girls on our bus. It was brutal. Yours was a very civilised experience and it made me giggle to hear of your winning streak. 😀


Welcome to Milan 😀
There are three very common italian apéritif drinks. Crodino is an orange coloured beverage made of herbal extracts and sugar. Campari is an alcoholic, bitter, red dark apéritif from an infusion of herbs, fruit, chinotto and cascarilla in alcohol and water. Aperol is an apèritif made of bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb, cinchona and other ingredients with less alcohol content than Campari.
There can be the so-called Spritz version, i.e. with the addition of seltz and some white wine, like Prosecco. This version had its origins in Venice and Northeast Italy. Now the producer of these drinks is the “Campari Group” of Milan.
Raise the glasses and cheers 😀

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Thanks Sid! I should have known all this years ago 🙂 So many months in Italy without the right treats! 😄 I also had San Bitter, it was similar to Crodino but with different flavors, and also alcohol-free.

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San Bitter (produced by San Pellegrino) is another kind of drink, made by a mix of water and sugar. It can be red or yellow.
My opinion: too much sugar and glucose, the bitter taste is obtained with some flavoring and citric acid.
But next time, I will offer you Negroni, or Bellini 😀

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We didn’t drink crodinos, but we did get to see the extraordinary duomo, and Cinque Terre, and a lot more of beautiful Italy. It remains one of the highlights of all our travels. I love your photo of the duomo through the chairs and umbrellas. Those chairs seem soooo Italian to me.

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Wonderful shots of Duomo. Thank you for posting these and rekindling my memories of this area. I really felt like I was there again. I agree that the cappuccino price in many parts of Europe is fantastic. Australia is comparable to Nordic prices these days…ridiculous!! I just loved the Aperitivo experience in Italy. I recently asked a local Italian hotel/ cafe here if they would start to serve them as they offered Aperol on the menu – (rare in Australia) and last visit, voila. ..they now have it. I suppose next time I will have to ask them about this Crodino!!!

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I love the slightly bitter taste of Crodino, it’s refreshing, tasty and sophisticated. Next time, I’ll have to try an Aperol Spritz, though i did taste some of my friend’s, I’ve never had a whole one, hahah. I don’t know why it’s so hard to find products like these, with everything else being so globally available. Maybe it just adds to the allure! 🙂

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