By Elizabeth Johnson
FLORENCE, Italy – Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria, the Gucci Museo is located in the heart of historical Florence. From its humble beginnings in 1921, to its globally recognized luxury status today, Gucci’s 90-year history unfolds across three floors of the Palazzo della Mercanzia.
But it may not the leather handbags, iconic Flora prints or glamorous evening gowns that make you want to return to the Gucci Museo again and again. It could well be the sleek Caffé tucked away on the first floor and its tiny, perfect details.
After a long morning of museum hopping, I was finally able to sit and unwind. It was just after 11 a.m. at the Caffé, so like a Florentine, I steered away from the cappuccino and ordered an espresso.
The waitress handed me the tiniest of cups resting on a saucer. I caught my reflection in black glazed ceramic. The espresso came with sugar, but not just any sugar since, after all, it was the Gucci Museo. Neatly wrapped in clear plastic were the crystalized initials of Guccio Gucci.
I dropped the interlocking G’s into the cup and stirred. To savor such a luxury drink or throw it back at once? I went with the latter. The espresso was rich and fleeting, leaving just enough sweetness on my tongue.
I looked down and couldn’t help but feel a little sad to see nothing but coffee residue and an empty plastic wrapper on the table. At the Gucci Museo, an espresso was much more than an afternoon pick-me-up. The museum’s brochure said it best for me, “Plating a pivotal role in the Gucci Museo’s visionary concept, the Caffé epitomizes a Florentine devotion to enjoying the finer things in life.”