Pistamentuccia Restaurant - Bologna

The reinvention of a cloister

The opening of the new Pistamentuccia restaurant in Bologna puts an unusual architectural space back on the city's map
Studio Gad
Year of completion

Flavio and Claudio Cipriani only intended to open a pizzeria in Bologna, as they had done before in Rome. But while they were looking for a suitable location, they stumbled on the disused site of the historic Trattoria La Braserie at No. 2b, Via Alfredo Testoni; and they were left spellbound. So they immediately decided to set up a restaurant there, specialising in Roman cuisine and pizza. The name they chose – Pistamentuccia – takes a bit of explaining. In Roman slang, the term was used to describe a novice hunter who had failed to bag any game and therefore served little purpose other than to trample (“pestare” in Italian) the vegation underfoot, especially the aromatic wild mint (“mentuccia”) that was very common there. The Cipriani brothers wanted to keep such reminiscences of their roots alive in the name of the new venue and in its decor (such as the wallpaper). Pistamentuccia forms an integral part of the building on the corner of Via Ugo Bassi (No. 12), with a typical Bologna-style portico underneath it. This structure, plus the physical shape of the venue, suggest that there used to be a kind of portico on this side of Via Testoni too. “At first glance,” explains the young team from GAD, the firm of architects that took care of the design and furnishing, “Pistamentuccia puts you in mind of a welcoming internal cloister, strongly reinterpreted in a location where the high, complex ceilings generate a dynamism that captures the attention of even the least observant customer”. The effect was achieved by dismantling the visually heavy, coffered wooden suspended ceiling that masked the real ceiling, and removing the oppressive walnut-coloured wood panelling from the walls. The interior layout was modified by removing a number of partition walls and erecting others elsewhere, before installing the technical systems. All the encrusted deposits that had built up on the walls and ceilings over the years were then removed, and the resulting surfaces were re-plastered with technical plaster. The installation of the furnishings then put the finishing touch to the project. Pistamentuccia is divided into three distinct areas, which also incorporate the food preparation areas. Light green, dark green and light pine dominate the colour palette, with occasional splashes of yellow, for an extra dose of vitality. Overall, the venue offers a warm, pleasant atmosphere, where contemporary furnishings in simple shapes rub shoulders with others with a more vintage flavour, including metal chairs, wooden tables and wooden benches with slatted backrests, embellished with mustard-coloured cushions. The common thread holding everything together is the flooring – made using Urban Avenue ceramic tiles by Fioranese in Dark Copper – which is identical in all three areas. Urban Avenue is a brick-effect porcelain tile with a vintage feel, which evokes floor coverings from years gone by. In the main room, the service counter with exposed refrigeration chamber also serves as a showcase. The pizza preparation area at the back, meanwhile, is a blend of metal and wood, with majolica wall tiling to safeguard hygiene. The worktops are made of Botticino marble, except in the pizza area, where they’re made of white Carrara marble. Above the counter, a suspended ceiling enhances the visual appeal of the environment, and consists of vertical slats that leave the vaults of the ceiling above visible. The accent lighting comes from bell-shaped directional spotlights, while the main source of light is a mixture of simple pendants with exposed bulbs. The effect of the lighting design is amplified by the strategically positioned mirrors, which multiply the focal points of the venue. Drawing inspiration from the old washtubs once found in the humbler districts of Rome, the washbasins in the restaurant’s bathrooms have a startlingly original look.

Ceramiche Fioranese, Urban Avenue collection
porcelain stoneware
20,4x40,8 cm
Dark Copper
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0.05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GLA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): Dark Copper: CLASSE 4 (2100 giri)
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 39,52 N/mm2 (valori medi riferiti alla nostra ultima produzione)
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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