Italian fashion house Gucci announced that it will donate 2 million euros to beautify and restore the famous Boboli Gardens in Florence. One of the most beautiful parks in Italy, the Boboli Gardens inspired other elegant European green spaces such as those at the Palace of Versailles in Paris.
Laid out in a formal Renaissance style, the Boboli Gardens contain a large collection of sculptures from the 16th through 18th centuries. Locals and tourists visit the gardens year-round to stroll through the expansive gardens and admire the oak trees, greenery, and flowers. In the summer, they attract picnickers, who lounge in the grassy areas and by the pools surrounding the Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Ocean. The gardens are located behind the Palazzo Pitti, which was built in 1458 as a residence for Florentine banker Luca Pitti and later belonged to the Medici family and Napoleon.
Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt, and Florence Mayor Dario Nardella announced the project on April 3, 2017. The timeline and scope of the project are unclear, but Gucci will host its Cruise fashion show in the Galleria Palatina of the Palazzo Pitti on May 29, 2018, as part of the deal.
“In our country, taste, elegance, and beauty are part of our daily life,” Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini told The Local. “I find it very positive that Gucci and the Boboli Gardens, two integral parts of our culture and creativity, are working together.”
The luxury fashion brand isn’t the first to partner with famous Italian sites for renovations – in Rome, other fashion companies have also funded recent restoration projects. In 2015, Fendi paid to restore the Trevi Fountain, and in 2016, Bulgari provided money to renovate the Spanish Steps and Tod’s funded a Colosseum makeover.
The Boboli Gardens project “will make the greenery of the garden thrive again and restore it to its status as the Italian Versailles,” said Schmidt.
By Kathy McCabe