The hidden specialty bar in a little street in Naples where time "expands"

May 21 2024, 12:41
An artisanal café that also sells vinyl records and hosts jazz music nights: Blue Turtle is the must-visit bar in Naples

Passeggiata Colonna is a charming pedestrian street in the heart of the Chiaia district, lined with shops and delightful artisan boutiques. Descending the steps, you'll find Blue Turtle, a truly unique specialty bar created in March 2023 by Carlo Manna, a graphic designer who fell in love with the coffee sector after writing a thesis on coffee design and discovering the beauty of specialty coffee.

Blue Turtle: specialty coffee and vinyl records in Naples

A true Neapolitan, Carlo returned to his hometown to open the bar after training in Milan and taking specialisation courses at the Coffee Training Academy in Verona with Davide Cobelli. He describes himself as a "failed musician," but Carlo is a creative soul full of passions. He decided to combine his love for coffee and music in his beautiful café, where he also sells vinyl records and hosts live jazz music nights every Friday. He has preserved the Neapolitan tradition of friendly service and warm hospitality for every customer: "I wanted to create a place where people could stay for a long time, savouring a good cup of coffee."

The coffee he serves is different: in such a traditionalist city, Carlo has chosen to offer only specialty coffee. "The landscape is slowly changing, and I am hopeful. Others before me have tried to change things, like Paola Campana in Pompeii and Ventimetriquadri by Vincenzo Fioretto in Vomero, true pioneers to whom I owe my gratitude." The beans come from Garage Coffee Bros by Cobelli, "but I will soon add some products from foreign roasters." Carlo patiently explains this new approach to coffee to each customer, "mostly Italian and foreign tourists, unfortunately few Neapolitans, but those who try it tend to come back."

Basbousa and filter coffee

He calls it a "listening café," and indeed, Blue Turtle is a lovely place to sit and chat. Besides espresso, there are filter coffee and cold brew, "soon also Syphon and French Press," to enjoy with artisanal pastries that are different from the usual: no croissants, "I open at 10 to attract a different target audience, as haste is unfortunately not a friend of good information." Instead, he offers banana bread, fig and walnut tarts, and the legendary basbousa, a semolina-based dessert from the Middle Eastern tradition "that pairs wonderfully with coffee."

A place to linger

During the day, the focus is on coffee, while in the late afternoon, you can enjoy cocktails prepared by Lottino Spirits, "a distillery near Potenza that has even created a revised Negroni, served in the Neapolitan cuccumella with lightly crushed coffee beans." There are also drinks with dehydrated vegetables, around twenty gins, and a dozen whiskeys to choose from. The dream, however, is to make coffee the main focus: "So far, the response has been great, and in the future, I would like to centre the offer only on coffee and keep jazz night on Fridays."

What matters most, though, is the incomparable atmosphere at Blue Turtle, with its well-decorated interior in warm tones, the inviting counter, the vinyl corner, and the perfectly chosen musical background. There is also a pleasant outdoor space with tables under strings of lights. "Time does not exist! Life should be expanded, not lengthened," said Luciano De Crescenzo, the barista's idol. And here, time certainly expands.

Blue Turtle - Napoli - Piazza Amedeo, 16 c/Passeggiata Colonna -

cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram