A few years ago, I had an exhibition in Brescia Italy. The owner of the gallery did not speak English, and my Italian is abysmal but we both spoke French so we could actually converse with each other. He was a very congenial host and for the 5 days that we spent in Brescia, he would suggest things for me to do during the day and suggest we meet up somewhere around 5:00PM. When we would meet, the first thing Renato would say was,

“Voulez vous un apertivo?”

That’s when I discovered the delightful custom of the European “happy hour”.

Sharon and I have just returned from a visit to Italy, Croatia, and Austria where we decided to be compulsive about this happy little ritual. So every evening between 5 and 6, we would sit ourselves down somewhere and order an Aperol for Sharon, and a “vino bianco” for myself. As the trip processed and we wearied of continuous drinking we switched to coffee and tea. each time I would get up and take a picture of the scene in a very methodical way. Actually, I find this type of photography where I establish a theme and then in a very deliberate manner, set up to follow it quite boring and anal. Its not the way I take pictures. I prefer to be more spontaneous but for the purpose of this little series it seemed to work.