Cafes: gatherings of associations, committees and clubs

Article written by Michele Sergio and published in L’Espresso Neapolitan of the month of August 2019

When they opened their doors, in the XVIIIth century, the first “Bottega del Caffè” immediately became the favorite haunt of intellectuals, politicians, writers and artists. The epochal success of the Cafés revolutionized customs and habits. Appreciated for their delights, nowhere to be found, almost unexpectedly they also became the main “salons” of nobility and the bourgeoisie.

Thus it was that in many cafés circles, associations and editorial committees “settled”. The Caffè Cova in Milan hosted the Circle of Patriots which, then, would have been the promoter of the 5 days of Milan. The Caffè Pedrocchi was the seat of the satirical weekly called just like the local Paduan historian. The Caffè Gambrinus was the seat of the Circolo dei Letterati chaired by Salvatore di Giacomo.

At the historic Neapolitan Café we find ourselves today in the company of dr. Claudio Calvino, president of the Noos association. We talk about this association between a coffee and a bite of an irresistible puff pastry.

  1. D) Why is the name, when was it born and what does its association do?
  2. R) Noos derives from the ancient Greek, means to understand, mental faculty, intellect or, perhaps more simply, mind. The association was founded in 2010 at the Gambrinus and has the ambitious purpose of integrating, in the cd. civil society, people with mental health problems who have completed a therapeutic course.


  1. D) Who is part of the Noos Association?
  2. R) I am honored to be its president and give me a hand Antonio Sergio with the role of deputy and Dr. Maria Cristina Gentile psychologist and psychotherapist. In addition to people with mental problems, family members, professional volunteers and children who, in search of employment, spontaneously offer their generous support in a truly commendable manner, are also part of it.


  1. D) What is the integrative path to which it referred?
  2. R) In the practical in four phases. The first takes place in the Reception, Listening and Address center which serves to contact the new members and inform them of the program aimed at social inclusion through work. The second phase takes place in the Gambrinus halls where these people meet, form the Integrated Groups, within which they can exchange ideas and organize the work to be done. The third involves the creation of a Working Group that will be engaged in a specific project: culture and tourism group, theater and events group and work-gadget group. The fourth and final phase is the inclusion (or transformation of groups) in social cooperatives in which the members can carry out their work independently and be, finally, integrated into the world of work.


  1. D) Why did you try your hand at this daring undertaking?
  2. R) In my family I had people with mental problems and so I decided to give my help. I would like to point out that the association I represent does not do therapy but deals with the integrative path. It is not enough to treat a disability, but then it is even more necessary to include the less advantaged subject in the work context.


  1. Q) Why did you choose a café to host your meetings?
  2. R) Carrying out our meetings, emotionally very demanding, within a reassuring “meeting” like the Gambrinus gives an informal tone to the meetings themselves – a good espresso and a sweet will soothe the mind by lowering the defensive mechanisms of reason – and it favors social contact. Facing issues (personal) and (social) problems in a pleasant and relaxing context certainly facilitates the work. I will not be original, in short, if I say, but equally I want to do it, that a good coffee is the best relational “icebreaker”, especially if tasted in places of art, culture and history such as the great Italian coffees. Like the Gambrinus.

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