Gucci’s imagination ready for spring
Text by: Editorial
Museums have finally realised that interaction between food and culture can be truly magic, since culinary experience plays a highly important role in a process of flawless aesthetic appreciation. However, no one had yet thought of entrusting this serious task to a famous chef, thus bringing not only food, but also the space and its decoration at the same cultural level as the masterpieces being exhibited in the adjacent rooms.
Gucci has filled this significant gap by inviting Massimo Bottura, the superstar of chefs, to open a restaurant in their museum, located in the beautiful Fourteenth century Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence, a few steps away from the Uffizi Gallery.
Before we step into the restaurant, let’s take a look at the museum in its whole. It opened in 2011, but has totally changed its aesthetic and conceptual features, starting from its name: Gucci Garden recalls the brand’s passion for the fairytale natural world of plants, flowers and animals. It takes up the concept of a traditional museum as a celebration of a precious archive and reinvents it as a living and creative space, where the brand’s dynamic aesthetic and philosophy is expressed. Instead of working on a permanent exhibition arranged in chronological order, the Gucci Garden tells the story of the fashion house, by juxtaposing iconic contemporary and vintage pieces: garments, accessories, memorabilia, video installations, graphic illustrations and handmade items were organised according to thematic areas. The result is a dynamic narration that allows the visitors to “enter” a flow of ideas, grasping a hidden layer of inspiration and references to the creative process. “In the rooms entitled De Rerum Natura, for example, we see Gucci’s passion for flora and fauna expressed through vintage and current garments, silver animal statuettes made by the firm in the Fifties and original artwork by Vittorio Accornero, who was commissioned to create the Gucci Flora print in 1966.” As stated by fashion curator and critic Maria Luisa Frisa, head of the degree course in Fashion Design and Multimedia Arts at Iuav University of Venice, whom Alessandro Michele asked help him organise the Gucci Garden Gallery.
On the ground floor two shopping spaces are located, with items that are labelled with a distinctive Gucci Garden sign and aren’t sold in any other Gucci store. You will also find a charming bookshop with a selection of Avantgarde magazines and an interesting collection of new and antique books.
Now, finally, we come to the restaurant. Its name, Gucci Osteria, is a clear reference to Bottura’s own famous Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant based in the heart of Modena. This new place, however, has an obvious Tuscan soul, highlighted by the use of local ingredients and the lines of a 15th-century carnival song by Lorenzo de’ Medici written in gold gothic letters on the restaurant’s walls. The restaurant will delight its guests with a new culinary experience, slightly different from the chef’s widely known personal style. For the Gucci Garden, Bottura has created an original menu influenced by his travels and the “unexpected discovery”, as defined by the chef himself. It will include iconic Renaissance dishes, which remind us that Florence has always been a city of cultural exchange, for an all-day fine-dining pleasure.