In Palazzo Vecchio in Florence lies a more modern contribution to Italian art. This is the Gucci Garden, created in 2011 by Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s current creative director.
The exterior of the structure at first glance looks like many of the other ancient buildings in Florence, but with a baby pink banner hanging from some stones. However, the inside holds a fascinating glimpse at the vibrant world of Gucci.
To the left of the Gucci Garden’s main building is the Gucci Osteria. The two-toned plush green interior utilizes the dichotomy of a warm and cool green tone to create a dynamic environment.
The Feng Shui of the restaurant is hardly the most impressive thing though. Massimo Bottura, a chef who was awarded three Michelin stars and owns a top-five restaurant in the world, created the menu.
The plates range from 23-43 euros with creative dishes such as “The Birth of Venus” which has scallops, tarragon, and celeriac, or “Chianina’s Kiss”, consisting of Chianina (a breed of cattle) tongue and glazed pumpkin.
There are also two menu tasting options: the first being the “Renaissance Chapter” which is 5 courses at 100 euros and the second being “The World Through Our Eyes”, which is 6 courses at 130 euros. Both tastings have two wine pairing options that range from 45 euros to 80 euros per person. While this menu is not the most economical, it might be worth it to try it just for the experience. After all, who else can say they ate Michelin food at a Gucci Museum?
The Gucci Store
Once you’ve eaten at the restaurant, or perhaps just glanced at the menu, you can enter the building to find a boutique that holds all of the latest Gucci fashions that fall in line with their “Geek-chic” ideals. Items such as bright blazers and sweaters, studded hairpins, colorful scarves and bags, and even kooky cushions pepper the store and are all for sale. There are several attendants there to help you find the perfect Gucci product to take home (if your wallet can still take it).
The Gucci Museum
Once you exit the store, you have an option to enter the museum and become further enveloped in the history of Gucci. Unlike most museums with written explanations of each artwork, the Gucci pieces speak for themselves.
There is a three-story chronological structure to the museum that highlight’s the evolution of Gucci fashion since its creation in 1921. This features pieces such as suitcases from the 1930s, bold floral prints from the 1950s, and tricolored enamel necklaces from the 1970s.
Michele even created a section of the museum for the previous creative director, Tom Ford, as he found his work inspiring. The section is composed of two rooms: one for his ready-to-wear clothes and one for accessories. The clothing room features some of Ford’s iconic vampy looks, with a deep magenta color around the entire room and on the faceless mannequins, the vivid white pieces. The accessories room features a range of pink and red colors with Ford’s GG-themed accessories such as a g-string, dog collar, and handcuffs.
Aside from this exhibit, Gucci’s maximalism is present throughout the rest of the museum. Alessandro Michele’s style allowed for more funky looks such as bizarre patterns, gender-neutral shapes, bright colors, and a lot of ruffles. Modern Gucci fashion also is known for its use of flora and fauna prints and detailing such as snakes, bees, flowers, tigers, and zebras.
The Gucci Bookstore
Before you leave, your self-esteem is slightly salvaged as there is a moderately priced (in relation to everything else) bookstore complete with Gucci matches, journals, phone cases, and hundreds of sophisticated art and design books. Throughout the Gucci Garden experience, visitors can see the Gucci brand we know today come into fruition from its start. Whether or not you like Gucci though, the Gucci Garden is a must-see for anyone who appreciates fashion and art.
Cost and opening hours
Cost € 8.00. Free for people over 65 and children under 12, disabled people, Florence residents – on Monday – and the company employees, reduced for the students.
Visiting hours for both boutique and garden are 11:00-19:00 Gucci Osteria is open for dinner.
Main ph: Ph Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com
Gucci Garden, Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy