Bruno Cucinelli’s Italian Paradise
The Cucinelli company headquarters occupies a 14th century castle on the top of a hill in the middle of the landlocked Umbria region, an area referred to as the “green heart” of Italy. Cucinelli moved to the castle in 1987 and has since transformed the place into what could be the most idyllic company head office in all the world.
The hub of the place is undoubtedly the company cantina, which occupies its own building very near the main offices. Every day there is pasta; a main course–roast pork or Umbrian flatbread served with prosciutto and cheese; and fruit for dessert, with a sweet like tozetti cookies, paired with Vin Santo, once a week. The food is made from scratch by three warm, no-nonsense Umbrian women, Ornella Beccafico, Rosi Riccardi, and Sabina Macchiarini, and there’s nothing institutional about it.
Everyday the entire staff eats lunch at the cantina, family style with assigned seating. Lunch consists of small plates, multiple courses, fruit, bread and of course a little wine. Then it all ends with an espresso and back to work.
The brick corridors of the series of connected and meticulously restored buildings, room after room is filled with knits, yarns and cashmeres in all different colors. A good portion of the production is done there in the 14th century castle and also in a Cucinelli facility at the base of the hill. Another significant part of the production is done independently in the homes of people in the surrounding area.
THE LOOK: Flying private: understated, off-duty shapes in the most luxurious, neutral-toned fabrics (Mongolian cashmere, silk, suede, shearling) for the incon- spicuous consumers who frequent the bou- tiques in locales like Saint-Tropez and Capri.
THE COMPANY: In 1978, Cucinelli, the son of a farmer, realized there was no colorful cashmere. Today, he helms a burgeoning publicly traded company. Guided by ancient philosophies, the designer practices what he calls an ethical form of capitalism based on respect and moral values.
THE VILLAGE: Since he bought the abandoned hamlet of Solomeo, Cucinelli has restored everything from the church to the paving stones. He has also built an arts forum featuring an amphitheater, the Neo-Humanist Academy, and a 240-seat theater.