At The Gambrinus | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

“Gambrinus (/gæmˈbraɪnəs/ gam-brahy-nuhs), is a legendary European culture hero celebrated as an icon of beer, brewing, joviality, and joie de vivre. Traditional songs, poems, and stories describe him as a king, duke, or count of Flanders and Brabant (Low Countries). Typical representations in the visual arts depict him as a rotund, bearded duke or king, holding a tankard or mug, and sometimes with a keg nearby. (…) Some, of course, imagine Gambrinus as a man who has an enormous capacity for drinking beer.”  Excerpt from Wikipedia.

We are meeting a local singer Francesca Gramegna at the Gambrinus in Gravina, Puglia. The town is not as small as I recall when I was a teenager… it has been that long since I was here last time! The modern Gravina looks almost like a small city, it is vibrant, culturally different, too many cars for my taste and no longer I see farmer’s tractors, stockpiling of grain and flocks of sheep in the streets.

We park the car near the center piazza or villa, as it was called long ago. It was a place where on Sundays all the young women went to show themselves off to promising young lads. The procession of women heavily and smartly adorned with the latest fashion went on for hours under the watchful eyes of relatives walking by casually, as if they found their way there by chance. Something always happened between boys and girls, giggling, laughing, or simply a small talk to study the energy or the charisma of the other person. Just like in all the courting scenes rejection of a bothersome someone was common if the boy’s look and talk was not quite convincing. Au contraire, it was common for pretty girls to receive an invitation for a home dancing party, or an invitation to go out for a stroll.  We were so innocent!

(Photos taken by ©Valentina Cirasola at the Gambrinus, Gravina di Puglia, Italy)

On foot we reach the Gambrinus Café in Via Matteotti, 32 and what a pleasant surprise it was! I enter the café with the expectation of drinking something special, but I realized it was still daytime, thus espresso and some local pastries was right for the hour.

I feel right at home in the Bohemian décor and the lighting concept is superb. So many various shaped and colored lampshades hanging from the ceiling over each table give a suffuse light. The bull’s eye lights over the counter shine a blue color circle on the granite stone. The asymmetrical and vaulted ceiling in some areas is enveloping and makes the Gambrinus a pleasant place to hang out.

I spot the home stove top espresso machine turned into a table lamp, how lovely, I like to have it! Even the base of each bistro tables is different from one another, there isn’t anything matching here, but everything works together well. Behind the bar counter, everything is modern and functional for the activity of selling. On the entertainment side, the décor is funky, Bohemian, a hodgepodge of things new and old that really makes no sense and somehow makes you feel good.

The eye doesn’t really know where to rest, as there is no focal point to direct the view and this is why I like it, the owners had the courage to break a few decorating rules. In doing so, they created an interesting environment, unique in its genre and away from the style of other cafe in the area. I would have made the walls just a tad darker to give that smoky and soft air of candlelight in the Belle Époque era.

I say this often, keep your décor fit for your personality and don’t follow anybody’s style, you will feel aligned with your soul and mind. Feeling good is an assured result.

Company is great, bocconotti a type of local pastry are delicious, coffee and cappuccino are done to perfection. We don’t have much time to taste other delicacy made here, we must go somewhere else to taste some food invention of the area, which will be another way I want to dazzle the group of Americans traveling with me.

Francesca Gramegna By the way, singer Francesca Gramegna is my Italian cousin. If you want to listen to her voice, here she is with some music samples.



Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Val FruttaI am writing a travel diary of my last trip to Puglia with an American group and sharing with all of you my notes of feelings, observations, food-wine tasting and experiences that have changed the life of people traveling with me. The trips I organize are made for people who want to live it up in Puglia! Check out my books on


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

valentina design universe

Entertainment, TV Shows, Design Shows, Public TV,

Valentina Expressions

Luxury for Comfortable Living and Good Life Through Designs, Style, Travel, Food

Katrina Perkins

A force of Nature, with intense acting skills.

Postcards from Italy---Natalia Sarkissian

stories, one postcard at a time

In So Many Words

Creative writing inspired by life, love, laughter ... and a horse named Shakespeare

Art Gowns

The Art of Glamorous Fantasy

Paula Acton

Scribblings of an Aspiring Author


"La flamme des cuisines."

Teagan's Books

Now available: "Murder at the Bijou - Three Ingredients I"


Any old world uncovered by new writing

The Love of History

Another site/blog for loving history

Life is too short to drink bad wine

La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world


a journey of discovery with my camera...


Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

Chasing Destino

I'll be outside of the mosh pit . . . waiting with bandaids and kleenex . . .

This Man's Journey

Home is where our story begins.

LEANNE COLE - The Photographer's Mentor

Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different

Through Harold's Lens

Harold Green Photography

The Punchy Lands!

Embrace Your PUNCHY Nature

In Bruttium

Uncovering Calabria & The Mezzogiorno, One Toe At A Time. | By Adam Underhill

Design Secrets

fulfill your craving for a beautiful home

Decorating by Donna • Color Expert

A Virtual Color Expert who is highly specialized in designing color for your home.

Green Door Hospitality

Adventures in Everyday Entertaining


These letters are written to remind you just how much you matter, just how important you are, and just how beautiful the gift of life as a human is.


Tanaman, Alam Semulajadi Dan Yang Berkaitan

%d bloggers like this: