Luxury fashion brand Gucci’s already impressed us by finally stepping into the home decor game (and seriously, the collection is stunning), but we never expected this latest move from the Italian designer: a chic eatery, conveniently located in the newly-opened Gucci Garden in Florence.
Gucci Garden is the company’s newest flagship concept, created as part museum, part store, and part eatery. Designed by creative director Alessandro Michele, it serves as a reopening of the original Gucci Museo at the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia, and aims to combine art, architecture, fashion, food, and history in one collaborative space. The history of the House will therefore be organized by theme as opposed to date, and will feature everything from iconic collections to shoppable items.
And of course, Gucci’s first foray into fine dining is as chic as one would expect: The 50-seat restaurant, named Gucci Osteria, is on the ground floor of the Garden, featuring a combination of shades of green walls, wooden artwork, and floral-inspired flatware. “The garden is real, but it belongs above all to the mind, populated with plants and animals—like the snake, which slips in everywhere, and in a sense, symbolizes a perpetual beginning and a perpetual return,” explains Michele.
Gucci’s obsession with florals is evident in the gallery, which features everything from hand-painted floral walls to embroidered animals on pillows from the brand’s newly-released decor collection. The wooden artwork in the eatery adds to the rustic touch, and the emerald green velvet sofas give a sense of royalty to the space—as is to be expected by the brand, of course.
“We decided to make the space a laboratory where you have all the elements with which to creatively experiment,” says Michele. “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 ‘50s, and original artwork by Vittorio Accornero, who was commissioned to create the Gucci flora print in 1966.”
The brand’s new decor collection also makes an appearance in the restaurant, which offers all-day dining for a relatively casual option—if you ignore those sweeping walls, French-style doors, and dome ceiling, that is. The chef behind the stylish eatery is the one who owns Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana, Massimo Bottura. He’s designed an entirely new menu for the dining space, featuring favorites from his travels around the world. (Some inventive dishes include pork buns and an indulgent mushroom risotto.)
“Traveling the world, our kitchen interacts with everything we see, hear and taste,” says Bottura. “With eyes wide open, we look for the unexpected and next éclat. The restaurant is a reminder that Florence has always been a centre of cultural exchange, particularly during the Renaissance.”
Part of a two-room concept on the ground floor, the restaurant therefore shares its space with a bazaar-like area that offers exclusive, one of a kind pieces. A ticket to enter the Garden costs around eight euro ($9.55), and half of the price of each ticket will go to support various renovations and restoration projects around the city of Florence.