Tis Returns to Italy! Day 69: Il Super Mago Del Gelo

Published by Lisa Tisdale on

Today, I went inside the cheeky bar on the corner and discovered the secrets inside!

Locals Hanging Outside of Il Super Mago Del Gelo in Polignano al Mare, Italy
Locals Hanging Outside of “Il Super Mago Del Gelo” in Polignano al Mare, Italy

On my last full day in Polignano, my curiosity got the better of me. I finally went into the cheeky bar on the corner that had fascinated me as to its popularity. I ordered a tea and grabbed a booth so I could have a good long look around.

Pleasantly Surprised 

After taking a good look around, I can confirm that for many wonderful reasons, the caffè called “Il Super Mago del Gelo” should be the center of life in Polignano a Mare. Its name loosely translates to “The Magician of Frost”, referring to the gelato that is consumed in large quantities by the citizens and visitors of Polignano a Mare. 

How do I love thee Super Mago del Gelo?  Let me count the ways…

  • The place is full of magnificently kitschy decorations. One of my favorites is the fish tank aquarium from somewhere in the 80s that is quite clean for an old-school aquarium.
  • The Caffè Speciale was invented here! I had never heard of a Caffè Speciale but apparently it is a delicious mix of coffee, amaretto, cream, sugar, and a lemon peel. 
  • There is lively music playing that tends to be a bit cheeky but here it works.
  • Locals are constantly popping in and out all day and night, chatting with each other and keeping things lively. 
  • Its corner location with big windows all around lend themselves to great people and traffic watching.
  • It has not one, but TWO disco balls just waiting for someone to play some Bee Gees and dance!!!
  • There are three incredibly uncomfortable booths whose seats might have been recovered several times but the stiff 90-degree angle remains the delightful same.
  • The walls are lined with photos of people who visited over the years, including Paul McCartney whose face decorated my booth. I assume mine will be added next and I hope I am placed next to Paul.
  • Last but definitely not least, Dominico Modugno who wrote the quintessential Italian song “Volare” was born in Polignano a Mare and a frequent patron of the caffè. One feels like they are communing with the spirit of Volare himself while in these cheeky, hallowed halls.

While I enjoyed my morning tea here, I had to come back in the evening for a Caffè Speciale. The place was even better at night for “The Museum of Life” experience I love. 

Oh Super Mago, I apologize for doubting you. However, it is I that has suffered the greatest loss in all the days I missed spending time here. If ever in Polignano a Mare again, you will be my first stop!

Ciao for now!


Lisa Tisdale

Lisa Tisdale has traveled all over the world, writing about her experiences and making local contacts. She recently completed a three-month trip through Italy, exploring her favorite country’s food, wine, and sites, and making new friends!

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