Prada Buys Milan's Beloved Bakery, Pasticceria Marchesi
The historic Milanese cafe, recently acquired by Prada, brings its exquisite baked goods to the chic via Monte Napoleone.
As one of Milan's oldest and most revered cafes, Pasticceria Marchesi is a reminder of the quality of Italy's culinary traditions and Italian craftsmanship in general. As one of the fashion world's leading designers, Miuccia Prada excels in taking retro styles and making them absolutely modern. With the acquisition of 80 percent of the cafe brand last year, and the recent opening on via Monte Napoleone of the first branch of Pasticceria Marchesi outside its original location (pictured), the Prada Group has expanded their empire into something that will get your salivary glands going even more than this season's shoes.
Since 1824, Pasticceria Marchesi has been known in Milan for the excellence of its freshly baked pastries, cakes, cookies, and candies, as well as for being a place for a quick lunch or after-work cocktail. While the original location has changed little in recent years, the new location will update its old-world charm, respecting the cafe's tradition while giving it a stylish makeover.
Architect Roberto Baciocchi has designed a refined environment spread across 120 square meters. The cafe's gold leaf logo beckons from the street, while once inside, the marble walls and central marble-topped bar with cherry wood and glass cabinets nestle comfortably in the contemporary environment. Two jewel box-like seating rooms contain marble-topped tables with green velvet armchairs and sofas, all enveloped in green floral jacquard silk wallpaper. The overall effect is something that Lewis Carroll's Alice could appreciate, were she a 21st century socialite looking for a more gracious tea party.
The full line of Pasticceria Marchesi's delectable offerings, as well as several new temptations and a luxurious line of packaged goods designed especially for the new space, will be available. All pastries are baked daily on the premises to ensure the same high quality for which the original location is known, and the continued involvement of the Marchesi family further reinforces that commitment.
With plans to expand next year in Hong Kong and Japan, as well as another cafe in the Prada store in the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, the world looks to get a little sweeter thanks to the union of these two storied Milanese brands.
Kenneth M. Pope lives in Milan and covers the Italy beat for Travel + Leisure.