Gucci Gardens was a major player of my Florentine weekend which is saying a lot as I really wasn’t expecting much. I’m all for a lifestyle store/bistro/bar concept, so I knew I would have to check it out, but really I was expecting to be underwhelmed- wow was I wrong! The outside space was lovely, just in front of Gucci Osteria, whose menu looked creative, but to match, whose reservation book was full.
While the lovely outdoor setting looked like the perfect respite from the Tuscan sun, I opted for a cozy corner in the small bar as a respite from Marco, a Tuscan son, but definitely not my sun, you feel? Let me back up… the first day as I was waiting for my hotel room to be available, I took a stroll in the city center, absolutely knackered after waking up at 2:00. I have no doubt I looked it, so when a strange man called Marco stopped me in the street to tell me how much he liked my hat and insisted then INSISTED with a hand grab that I go to have drinks with him…well, I all but ran. After he followed me for a bit I insisted I was meeting a friend and ducked into the intimate and thankfully busy, Gucci Gardens. I hid in a nook by the window, had a nice chat with the waiter and proceeded to sip on this gorgeous (and much deserved) “Memory of a Negroni.”
Marco averted, I was able to read a bit of my book while nibbling on these delightful bar snacks- toast with tomato water, Parmesan crisps, and olives- a welcome change from the Italian love of a plain potato chip.
My drink surprised me with it’s bright purple hue, but the drink itself was balanced and perfect. The waiter and I lamented the cocktail culture in Switzerland, which just made me appreciate it all the more.
Two days later…I’d successfully ducked Marco for the rest of the weekend (well this one anyway, but that’s another story), but I did get caught in a massive unplanned, downpour that lasted for hours! Gucci Gardens and “my” cozy window table saved me again.
I was tempted by my purple potion of days past, but felt I had tor try the cocktail my waiter said was his favorite, one reminiscent of a margarita…again, a weird color combo of pea green liquid coated in a grey-blue salt, but wow it was incredible!
Gucci Garden kills it and is worth every penny for the craft cocktails and fun snacks they create. If I wasn’t hiding from men and thunderstorms, that tomato bread was lingering in my head from the days before, just looking for a reason to get me back there. The bar absolutely made me wish to seek out the restaurant on a return visit. The shop itself…well…was Gucci. They were very selective on who could enter, thankfully allowing me a browse, but stopping many tourists behind me. The bookstore had a range of mouse pads and cheap looking postcards in addition to books- but nothing was priced. I guess it was if you HAD to bring something back from the Garden. The boutique itself had the typical Gucci selection, but worse as they were special edition colors and prints, but not in a good way. Regardless, it’s fun to have a unique boutique powered by a killer cocktail bar. I’d say it was all worth the hype, but really there was zero hype, and more of a lucky stumbling into (or away from Marco) which is better than any hype anyhow. Not to worry, there’s a large (garden-less) Gucci boutique on the main drag for your leather good needs.
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