Founded in 1921 in Florence, luxury fashion brand Gucci are synonymous with style and class, catering to clientele at the highest levels of society. Selling their products at over 500 locations worldwide, it’s safe to say that Gucci is a household name, whether you can afford it or not.
Although they rose to fame and fortune through the sale of high-quality leather goods, Gucci have their fingers in many pies, once figuratively and now, literally.
Gucci Garden is a new restaurant and concept store complex in Florence, offering fine food, museums and a luxury shopping experience all in one place. It’s the product of creative director Alessandro Michele, who explained “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.”
Run by the Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura (of Modena’s Osteria Francescana and featured in Aziz Ansari’s Master of None TV show), Gucci Osteria can sit 50 people and serves classic Italian dishes such as Parmigiano Reggiano tortellini, pork buns, and mushroom risotto, “a reminder that Florence has always been a center of cultural exchange.”
The menu will also reflect Bottura’s travels, however, with the chef explaining “traveling the world, our kitchen interacts with everything we see, hear and taste. With eyes wide open, we look for the unexpected and next éclat.” Beyond the usual Italian fare, diners can also feast on fancy burgers, Chianina hot dogs and Peruvian tostadas, all served on Gucci plates by staff decked out in Gucci clothes.
Bottura actually has a hotel restaurant in Dubai soon to open and has worked recently on a network of charity-focused food halls in Milan, London and Rio de Janerio.
You might think that a restaurant run by Gucci would be beyond the means of most people, but you’d be wrong. In fact, no dish on the Osteria menu is more than €30, which while not cheap, is definitely ‘affordable’ if you insist on having the experience.
The restaurant sits on the ground floor of the Gucci Garden complex, which itself is a short walk from the Uffizi Gallery, and after eating, guests can enjoy an exhibition space showcasing items from the luxury brand’s archives and a boutique selling one-of-a-kind pieces.
Entry to the Gucci Garden costs $10, but half of all proceeds are used to support a variety of restoration projects across the city of Florence.