Unless you work alone, work is a social event. There are rules; spoken and unspoken, codes of conduct, inside jokes that only your co-workers think are funny. One of our little rituals is the aperitivo, or cocktail before dinner service. Friends of ours will drop by around 7:00 for a small drink and a chat, it’s a way to signal that the workday is over and the pleasure of being with friends and family has begun. Sometimes we can join our guests for aperitivo, sometimes we are too busy and Jeff takes pity on the kitchen crew and will bring us a Compari and soda. It’s a chance to talk over the day, catch up on gossip, or whatever else is going on. For me, aperitivo is a very civilized event, and it’s not about having an alcoholic drink, because not everyone drinks, and even those who do, it’s usually just a small, single drink; it’s about being social. Its simple ritual that connects you to those around you and most certainly, the Italians understand the importance of being connected.