On the corner of two busy Kreuzberg streets lies a small espresso bar that evokes a tiny, quieter Italy. Founded in 2007 by Alex Cafetzakis, it is rightly called Bar Italia. The owner’s obvious passion for Italian culture expresses itself through coffee, food and filmography, and he has indeed managed to get all those ingredients into an undeniably small, but charming and cozy space. That’s probably why Bar Italia manages to distinguish itself from the other cafés nearby. The owner’s main goal is to deliver what he considers a great coffee; he searched hard to find Bar Italia’s special blend, Pasucci, which he located in a secluded Italian village and brought back to Berlin. This elegant yet powerful bean has been produced for many generations by a family which still lives in the mountains, and guards the secrets of their work. If you decide to stop by in the early hours of the day, you’ll understand that the café creates a special atmosphere. If you’re lucky, the sun will shine through the small windows, the aroma of coffee will fill the space, and despite the back and forth movement coming from the nearby traffic lights, you’ll feel like time is on hold whilst sipping on a perfect cup of coffee. I haven’t found a better way to start my day! (Text: Catherine Pfisterer/ Photo: Janar Siniloo)

Bar Italia, Mehringdamm 72, 10961 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map

Mon-Fri 8-18h, Sat-Sun 10-18h.

Entrance: Kreuzbergstr.1

Catherine Pfisterer is French, and has been living in Berlin-Kreuzberg for 12 years with her husband and two children. She is passionate about architecture and interior design, and is the owner of store Bazar Noir.