Beginning this weekend, Italian espresso equipment giant La Marzocco is giving the public at large a closer view of its inner workings, as it opens up its coffee academy and design campus on the outskirts of Florence.
Located in the Tuscan countryside about a 10-minute car ride from the center of the city, the La Marzocco campus includes Accademia Del Caffè Espresso professional coffee school, as well as its recently launched custom design studio Officine Fratelli Bambi.
The general public is now welcome inside parts of these facilities and other LM-owned historic buildings, modern art and sculpture gardens, indoor greenhouse, coffee laboratories and more that are designed to combine for a contemporary coffee tourist attraction.
“Let’s be honest, you can only take so many museums before you’re on museum overload,” La Marzocco Global Product Manager Scott Guglielmino told DCN. “We’re going to have a rotating set of experiences, ranging from an intro to coffee cupping and latte art, all the way to through to an hour course on houseplants and office plants with a master agronomist on how to create a good natural environment.”
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The company is offering numerous tour types, from short, guided walk-throughs with coffee tastings, to one-hour coffee-focused experiences exploring different elements of coffee and its production, to a variety of 4-hour classes that explore coffee from seed to cup. Guglielmino said the program may eventually expand to include week-long courses and other more in-depth public offerings.
Prices for the various options will vary depending on the tour or “experience” type, although they are designed to be an affordable alternative to traditional museum tourism.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.