It’s an especially muggy, overcast day and, still feeling half in bed as I ride past Cafe Insomnia, I decide it’s only appropriate to stop in a place so-named for people who want to sleep but can’t. It isn’t that I’m physically unable to sleep, I do little better, but rather that my insomnia originates from the need to wake up due to obligations without which I wouldn’t have a bed in which to sleep. This is known in western culture as “a job.” So it is that what I suffer from is less insomnia than acute laziness.
“Yes yes, we know you’re a lazy bastard,” I can hear you saying, “but you’re meant to be writing a review for a cafe, not your preference for lackadaisical inaction!”
So I am. Accordingly then I will now attempt, purely for the sake of relevance, to link my natural lethargic inclination to the cafe in which I now found myself sitting on the patio, observing the unremarkable quarter of the city around me with its standard apartment buildings, though the building across from me does offer some lovely balconies. Another building, the one to the left of where I now sit facing the street, offers a view of a young, ponytailed brunette peeking around the portico. Like me, she appears to be taking in the sights and smells that the quarter offers her on this sloppy June morning. Her seeking eyes find mine and she vanishes behind the security the portico offers her. Perhaps this isn’t such an unremarkable area after all…
Right. Did I mention I’m at a cafe? A small, decrepit thing lurching up out of the side of a blasé stone wall lining a now decidedly interesting street on Monopoli’s north side? The evidence of the finished cappuccino and cornetto on the table where I sit is evidence of that. My table is half of the outside seating, and even that seems like more than the narrow sidewalk is capable of handling. Fortunately, there aren’t many pedestrians afoot this morning, so any awkward pressing and squeezing is momentarily averted. The interior of the bar is similarly cramped as well, offering four booths as well as a short bar at which two patrons stand, elbow to elbow. Coupled with the fact that it’s summer and many Italian cafes, particular these little run-of-the-mill kind, don’t offer air conditioning the atmosphere is rather stifling and better suited to growing tropical plants and bacteria than serving as a frequented cafe. But a cafe it is, and despite these sweltering conditions the cappuccino is quite good, and though I generally find Moak inferior to brands such as Vergnano and Illy, it’s nevertheless a delightful treat.
Insomnia has a little plastic box passing for a pastry case, which is to expected for a cafe of its size. The emphasis here is purely on coffee and, judging by the multiple bottles on the shelf behind the bar, liqueur as well. The little box does contain a cornetto, though sadly it isn’t chocolate but cream, and I’m pleasantly surprised biting into it that it isn’t stale.
If my negative mood this morning, brought on by the weather I assume, has led you to believe I don’t like this cafe, then let me assure you of the contrary, it’s actually quite lovely, in that “we couldn’t give a shit about decor and neither will you once you try our coffee” kind of way.
Add in the not detestable sight of the brunette peeking her head back around the portico in my direction and I think this is a place I will be returning.
Address Via M. Sforza n. 51 Public transport N/A: It’s small town in Italy – you can walk.
Opening times As this is Italy, my putting up the hours would be pointless. Opening and closing times are completely up to the whim of the owner.
Cost € Telephone 057 494 00726 Website N/A