Antiquities and Archaeology

Happy feet in Florence

Sala Loafer at Gucci Museo

The weight of the history contained in Florence’s museums, from the Uffizi to the Gallerie dell'Accademia—not to mention Michelangelo’s David, the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens—occasionally proves too much for over-enthusiastic visitors, caught unawares by the back-to-back procession of Renaissance masterpieces. Thankfully, the Gucci Museo is providing a welcome respite by opening the “Loafer Room”, an exhibition dedicated to the story of the iconic Gucci horsebit loafer, which are 60 years old this month and have been worn by Madonna, Brad Pitt, Jodie Foster and Dustin Hoffman, et al. The museum is admirably donating half of all ticket sales for the exhibition (until November) to help restore some of the city’s “other” works of art. Who would have thought that footwear could save Italy’s treasures, but then again, Diego Della Valle, the shoe magnate, is stumping up €25m to restore the Colosseum.

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