Exterior view of Carolina Bucci's new jewelry boutique overlooking the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Photo: Stefano Vuerich

Go Inside a 13th-Century Florentine Palazzo Transformed into a Jewelry Boutique for Carolina Bucci

The historic landmark proves the perfect setting for carrying on the fourth-generation artisan’s brand of ‘relaxed luxury’

Carolina Bucci. Photo: David Abrahams

For more than two decades, the fourth-generation, London-based jeweler Carolina Bucci has walked a self-proclaimed “tight rope,” creating serious fine jewelry that doesn’t take itself too seriously. “I like to make gold and jewelry do things it shouldn’t,” she says. “We spend a lot of time working on techniques that bring those possibilities to life, like our Florentine finish or our Woven collection, the latter of which is woven on a loom and makes gold behave like silk.”

The designer is known for imbuing both playful elements and personal memories into her meticulously crafted pieces. Bucci’s beloved Lucky collection, for example, features elevated interpretations of the friendship bracelets she once exchanged on the Italian beaches of her youth. “Relaxed luxury is the best way to describe Carolina Bucci,” she tells Galerie. “Everything is about storytelling.”

Now, Bucci is writing a new chapter in her brand’s story after opening a flagship boutique in a 13th-century landmark building in her native Florence last month. Located right next to the Ponte Santa Trìnita and overlooking over the Ponte Vecchio, the location is just minutes from the company workshops. “My family has been making jewelry in Florence since 1885,” says Bucci. “I’ve been searching for the right location for years now and found the perfect space. As soon as I saw the building, Palazzo Spini Ferroni, my gut said yes. Built in 1289, it’s famous for housing the global flagship of Ferragamo, who is our next-door neighbor. Our store has been in the same Florentine family for 100 years, and I love that continuity.”

Inside the new Carolina Bucci flagship in Florence. Photo: Stefano Vuerich

Renovating the location was “a step into the unknown as there had been so many layers added over time,” recalls Bucci, who worked with Milanese architect Fabio Magri on the project. “We didn’t know what we would find,” she says. “With the exception of the wooden beams, we ended up recreating the feeling of a historic store by adding ceiling details, boiserie, and a mosaic floor. The windows outside are all original and I love the way they curve inward. They’re a nightmare to merchandise in some ways, but it adds to the feeling that the store has been there for years, and we’ve just dropped some jewelry into the mix.”

The mezzanine of Carolina' Bucci's new Florence boutique features a pair of Giuseppe Pagano Bocconi chairs and a Luigi Chirri photograph. Photo: Stefano Vuerich

Outside Carolina Bucci's new Florence location. Photo: Stefano Vuerich

Italian craftsmen added the period details, including the mosaic floor, laid by hand by a team of artisans from Venice, that is the space’s starring feature. “I also love that there are many different tactile pieces working in harmony, from the cabinetry to the brass work with our inlaid bee logo, to the cash desk which is cut from large book-matched slabs of yellow marble,” says Bucci. “The furniture—like the 1930s Gio Ponti armchair reupholstered in a Bargello flame-stitch fabric and the two Giuseppe Pagano Bocconi chairs from the 1940s—was all hand-picked to give a sense of place and age. My favorite element is the Luigi Ghirri photograph that my husband bought at auction years ago. It works perfectly upstairs as an anchor for the cloud mural we had painted there.”

Pieces from Carolina Bucci's jewelry collections on view in the designer's new Florence flagship. Photo: Stefano Vuerich

The destination serves as somewhat of a full-circle moment for the designer. “Something I hadn’t expected is how proud our jewelers would be to have their craft showcased in their own city,” says Bucci, who plans to launch a new line later this year with more locations to come further in the future. “I find the sight of my name above the store very emotional. Even though I left home at 18 and now live in London, Florence is where I’m from. The store feels like putting down some vital roots I hadn’t realized I needed until they were there. My favorite time in the city is very late at night when the old Florence comes alive. Our store overlooks the Arno and whilst the jewelry is all put away, a window of semi-precious beads is on permanent display. Malachite, lapis, jasper… These are stones the craftsmen that produced Pietre Dure cabinets for the Medicis would have known well. It feels magical to be re-embracing that legacy.”

Cover: Exterior view of Carolina Bucci's new jewelry boutique overlooking the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Photo: Stefano Vuerich


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