Freni e Frizioni


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In this most ancient, classical of cities, Freni e Frizioni is something different. A city centre bar set in a former mechanic’s workshop (the name translates to ‘brakes and cutches’), whose contents frequently leak out on to the courtyard that surrounds it. With crowd-pleasing as much as connoisseur-pleasing cocktails served from dusk to perilously near dawn, there’s no more popular place in town. The vibe here is punk, with young and hip grungy types filling the high-ceilinged workshop and tables outside, but there’s a nod to tradition, with aperitivo and classic cocktails the most popular orders. The Phi-Mex, a twist on the Tommy’s Margarita with mezcal, calamansi, bell pepper, tamarind and agave syrup – is currently the drink of drinks. The buzz feels now, but this is actually no new bar – launched as it was in 2005 – but since the arrival of Riccardo Rossi in 2013 Freni e Frizioni has really climbed the gears. So much so that owners Luca Conzato, Cristian Bugiada and Riccardo Rossi launched its sequel Freni e Frizioni Draft last year – this time with cocktails on tap and pizza.