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Gucci Museo, Florence

5 Piazza della Signoria
Italy 50122
Tel: 39 055 290 017's insider take:

Guccio Gucci opened his first leather goods and luggage shop in Florence in 1921, targeting the kind of luxury clientele he had seen while working as a bellboy at the Savoy in London. Since then the company he founded has become a huge global brand. On its 90th anniversary in 2011, Gucci opened its first museum in its founder's hometown, on a prime centro storico piece of real estate—14th-century Palazzo della Mercanzia in Piazza della Signoria. The display has several jaw-dropping moments, such as the Gucci-customized 1979 Cadillac Seville, or the feathered and sequinned swan-princess dress worn by Hilary Swank at the 2011 Academy Awards. Other themes, such as the development of the Gucci logo or the evolution of the design department's floral motifs, are a little more recondite. Those looking for insights into the life of Gianni, Donatella, and other Versace family figures will be disappointed: The remit here is strictly corporate. But anyone with a passing interest in fashion will be fascinated, and the ground-floor Gucci Caffè is a relaxing place to chill out between bouts of sightseeing. There's also a bookshop, a gift shop, a and contemporary art exhibition space featuring rotating selections from Gucci CEO François Pinault's extensive collection.—Lee Marshall

Open daily 10 am to 8 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.