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FASHION

Gucci vs Gucci: Fashion house orders restaurant to change its name

One's a global fashion house; the other's a family-run bistro in northern Tuscany. But apparently Italy isn't big enough for the two Gucci's.

Gucci vs Gucci: Fashion house orders restaurant to change its name
The front of a Gucci boutique. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP

The luxury fashion brand reportedly threatened legal action after a Tuscan family of four (Fabio, Barbara, Laura and Martina Gucci) opened the Gucci Bistro.

The Gucci's opened their restaurant in 2016 in Prato, a town about 25km north-west of Florence, where the Gucci fashion house has its roots. Things were going smoothly – until the family received a letter ordering them to change their 'misleading' name.

“At first we thought they hadn't understood, and we replied that we were a family, and that the name of the restaurant was also our surname,” Martina Gucci told The Local. “Also, we're in Prato, not Milan or Rome for example – it's not a particularly well-known area.”

“But they said they weren't interested in our motivations and were concerned about misunderstandings the name could cause,” said Gucci. 

“We were really annoyed, because the name wasn't a random choice! At first, we wanted to take things further, but because of the time, money and stress [of a lawsuit], we begrudgingly decided to give up. They had the manner of someone who is certain of getting what they want.”


The Gucci family, plus family friends Leonardo and Francesca, at their restaurant. Photo: Martina Gucci

Italys' three tiers of justice and lengthy appeals process meant that it could have taken up to 20 years to resolve the Gucci v Gucci case.

So the restaurant acquiesced, changing its name to 'GI' and splitting the cost of new business cards and outdoor signage with the fashion house.

“These expenses were big for a family that has just opened up a restaurant, while for the other Gucci, it barely made a difference,” Martina Gucci pointed out. “But hopefully the damage is resolved now – we have told our clients about the new name, and at least now we are getting publicity!”

After a Facebook post explaining the reason for the bistro's new identity, messages of solidarity quickly rolled in.

“The injustice sends me into a rage! I swear that neither me nor my family with ever buy a Gucci product again!” wrote Sara Ferraloro. “I live in Bolzano, but I'll keep hold of your address and if I go to your area, I'll certainly have lunch there.”

“Go ahead with the lawsuit – don't be afraid to use your own surname,” another supporter said.

In addition to selling luxury and leather goods, the Gucci fashion house runs three cafes of its own in Florence, Milan, and Tokyo, and in 2015 opened a restaurant in Shanghai.

However, reviewers on travel rating site TripAdvisor ranked the Prato bistro above the two cafes, giving the former 4.5 stars out of five, while the Gucci-run eateries were rated four stars apiece.

With reporting by Caterina Zita

READ ALSO: Gucci is funding a makeover for one of Florence's most famous gardensOne of Italy's most famous gardens is getting a Gucci-funded revamp
Photo: Ed Webster/Flickr

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LA BELLA VITA

La Bella Vita: Pasta, coffee, and the signs you’re becoming Italian

From how your eating habits become more Italian (without you even realising it) to the best ways to prepare and drink coffee, our new weekly newsletter La Bella Vita offers you an essential starting point for eating, talking, drinking and living like an Italian.

La Bella Vita: Pasta, coffee, and the signs you're becoming Italian

La Bella Vita is our regular look at the real culture of Italy – from language to cuisine, manners to art. This new newsletter will be published weekly and you can receive it directly to your inbox, by going to newsletter preferences in ‘My Account’ or follow the instructions in the newsletter box below.

The longer you spend in Italy, the more you might find yourself adapting to Italian culture in ways you didn’t expect. For Brits like me, that might mean swapping your tea with milk for black espresso. For Americans it could be that your tastebuds have slowly become less accustomed to spicy foods (good tacos are, sadly, hard to find in Italy). And you’ve heard all about the tomatoes, but are you eating more lentils yet?

Once you find yourself eating pasta on an almost daily basis and reacting to the idea of fast food with a heartfelt ‘che schifo!’ you’ll know there’s really no going back. These are just some of the eating and drinking habits you might see change over time:

17 ways your eating and drinking habits change when you live in Italy

With all that pasta in mind, if you want to make sure your favourite recipe is executed in truly flawless Italian style we’ve got some expert advice on nailing the technique for saucing all of your pasta dishes correctly every time – and there’s more to it than you might expect.

Ask an Italian: How do you sauce pasta properly?

And then there’s the coffee. Whether you prefer yours from an espresso machine or the iconic stovetop moka coffee pot – personally I find it hard to pick a favourite – everyone who’s spent even a short time in Italy knows there’s an art to preparing and drinking coffee all’italiana

This rich tradition comes with a set of rules and norms that can be hard to navigate if you weren’t born in the country, so here’s our complete guide to where, when and how to drink coffee like a true Italian.

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A shot of dark, velvety coffee is more than just a quick caffeine hit: Italy’s espresso is a prized social and cultural ritual the country considers a part of its national heritage. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

The weather has taken a turn for the worse this week and many parts of northern Italy are experiencing freezing temperatures and snow. It sounds obvious now, but before I moved to Italy I didn’t realise just how bitterly cold it gets, and my first winter in Tuscany was a bit of a shock. Luckily, Italians from around the peninsula share a love of talking – or complaining – about cold and wet weather so there were plenty of people ready to commiserate.

Here are ten Italian phrases you can throw into your weather-related conversations during these chilly days:

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And have you noticed how some Italian translations of English-language film titles bear very little resemblance to the original? I first realised this when an Italian friend told me how they always watched something called ‘Mamma ho perso l’aereo’ at Christmas, and described the plot, which sounded identical to that of Home Alone…

From the very literal to the improbable, here’s a non-exhaustive list of our favourite Italian movie title translations.

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Is there an aspect of the Italian way of life you’d like to see us write more about on The Local? Please email me at [email protected]

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