The new designer food centre in Florence
Reale was born to give prominence to a once downtrodden area of Florence by creating a gastronomical centre that revolves around food and culture.
The Reale building, located within the compound of the Santa Maria Novella station – an international symbol of rationalist architecture – is a brand new tapas bar serving local food accompanied by home-brewed ales to be enjoyed at the bar. Reale is an American café-bar, open from 7 am to 3 am, hosting events and exhibitions. Yet it is much more than a bar, a pub or a restaurant: Reale is the perfect place to enjoy an unusual area of the city and take a stylish break.
The project was born from the wish to create a cultural alternative. Inaugurated in 1935, the venue is a masterpiece by Giovanni Michelucci and the group of architects known as Gruppo Toscano, who also designed the Santa Maria Novella train station. Reale is now a trendsetting venue but the building that houses it was in fact intended to provide a link between the train tracks and the travellers’ waiting rooms, and for the king’s brief stopovers.
The building stands out for its shape, rationalist geometry and classical surfaces completely covered in white Carrara and green Alpine marbles and bronze fixtures. Inside stands a counter that is over 24 meters long, made of brushed bronze and brass, a unique and handsome piece of furniture that fits discreetly in this vast venue, highlighting the historical and architectural elements that were already here, such as the 30s lighting.
Reale is a new benchmark in the city’s food landscape and embodies a contemporary bistro with international flavours inspired by Spanish tapas and traditional Tuscan cuisine.