One of the reasons I love cafes, why “cafehopping” goes beyond mornings spent sipping cappuccinos and becomes a lifestyle, is that perhaps more than any other institution, cafes are perfectly emblematic of the people who live in a city. Put together, cafes are a kind of kaleidoscope, each one representing the local people and culture better than anywhere else. Even in one city cafes can vary drastically one from another. Gieffe Cafè is the perfect example of this. Walk ten minutes towards the center of the city and you’ll be at Cafe Roma and, despite the fact that both cafes serve Valentino coffee, you’ll be left with the feeling that you’re in another city in another region entirely. Gieffe has a narrow opening on Via Lepanto that stretches far inside like the belly of a whale. Though there are several tables inside they’re deserted at this time of year as locals take advantage of the May weather out on the patio. The noise emanating from a building across the street, would indicate close proximity to a school and the concrete slabs of various structures around us reflect a vibe of an industrialized city rather than that of what is essentially a town on the sea.
The cappuccino is a decent Italian cappuccino, nothing better nor worse, but I’m sorry to say that at 10 am when I arrived there were no cornetti left and I was instead forced to choose from the contents of a very sparse pastry case. I ended up with a kind of chocolate pie which was chocolate and pie-like and that’s about it.
Where Cafe Roma truly does make one feel like they’re in Rome and Bar La Nave takes you to the shores of Trieste, Gieffe Cafè transports you to inner Naples, or perhaps heavily industrialized Taranto. All of which is to say, it’s not set up for the tourists. The advantages of this is that here you get a slice of suburban Italian life you’re not likely to find elsewhere, though you probably won’t be keen to relive it on a subsequent visit.
Address Via Lepanto n. 28/b 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. Being closed on Tuesday is something you can take to the bank… though preferably not an Italian one.
Cost € Telephone 080 413 6135 Website N/A