Prada opens a Florentine cafe that is an ode to Italian summers

Prada revamps the historic Caffè Principe in the Florentine seaside resort of Versilia with quirky interiors and sweet treats

Prada cafe principe
(Image credit: Prada)

Trite as it is, it’s difficult to talk about Prada’s new Tuscan café, Caffè Principe, without mentioning ‘la dolce vita’. Located in the luxury seaside resort of Versilia, Caffè Principe was first opened by a Florentine family in the 1930s and developed in the 1950s and 1960s into a popular summertime destination for movie stars and other members of the Italian elite.

desserts at Caffè Principe

(Image credit: Prada)

When the Prada group acquired the Principe last year, it was assumed by many that it would transform the space into another Marchesi 1824, the Milanese bakery known for its jewel-like patisseries and mint green interiors (a similar hue adorns the recent Prada Caffè, at London’s Harrods), which Prada Group has owned since 2014.

Prada's Caffè Principe outdoor dining

(Image credit: Prada)

But Prada has maintained the original style of the Principe, while enlivening it with some signature Prada touches. Florentine architect Michele Bonan, developed furnishings reminiscent of the 1950s originals, including wicker tables and chairs, blue and white cushioned outdoor seating, and Formica tables. The Principe’s classic blue is also present throughout, complemented by curtains and wallpaper in a 1960s-style blue and green graphic pattern taken from Prada’s textile archives. 

food at Caffè Principe

(Image credit: Prada)

The uniforms are, of course, designed by Muccia Prada, with embroidered white shirts, navy jeans and white sneakers or espadrilles. 

The menu features light, summer-appropriate classics culled from the Marchesi 1824 menu, like caprese salad and small sandwiches, as well as the new edition of a cheesy focaccia.

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.