For those who don’t know, this was a famous TV commercial slogan for the Italians. It was the 80’s and the Lavazza commercials were effective, recognizable, and enjoyable, even for us children who in reality didn’t even care about coffee … At that time Lavazza, which was already a well-established, well-known and well-loved brand, with excellent product quality, truly entered into the Italian DNA thanks to the very successful marketing of television commercials that were part of the culture of the whole Italian society. Our parents had begun to love the product thanks to the “Carmencita you are already mine, close the gas and come away” (another Italian commercial slogan from the 60’s) of Caballero and Carmencita, a brilliant creation of the great artist and advertising genius, Armando Testa, whom I told you about in my post: the perfect aperitif.
After having entered all of our homes, having spread the Italian spirit abroad as the best-selling coffee in the world and having conquered space with ISSpresso (the innovative capsule coffee machine installed inside Node 1 of the International Space Station during the “Futura” mission with Samantha Cristoforetti), Lavazza coffee felt the need to return to its roots.
Thus, between 2014 and 2017, Nuvola Lavazza was born (“nuvola” means “cloud” in Italian), that beautiful contemporary-styled building with its public garden that gives new life to the Aurora district of Turin. In turn, it is also a great marketing operation by the Lavazza family that strengthens their bond with the city of Turin through this grandiose work and reaffirms the Turin origin of their activity, making itself visible and recognizable.
The complex, which takes its name from the sinuous shapes of the main building, is actually a very successful redevelopment and industrial re-use in an area that had hosted the electricity production company since the end of the nineteenth century. The full project, led by the architectural studio of Cino Zucchi, includes the large metal and glass building that houses the company’s offices, a high-end restaurant, Condividere, managed by chef Federico Zanasi and his brigade; Bistrot, a collective catering space developed in collaboration with Slow Food; a huge event area, the Centrale which is another example of industrial reuse (containing a still visible overhead crane) of the old Enel power plant.
Placed in the center, to unify all of these buildings into a single complex, there is a wonderful public garden: a space for everyone, precisely to fulfil the Lavazza family’s link with the city and its citizens. The garden is a very useful and well-kept green space in a neighborhood that until now was a bit gray. It follows the sinuous forms of the main building and offers comfortable marble benches, beautiful lush trees and a central fountain in a contemporary style where the sound of flowing water allows us to forget the city frenzy of the surrounding streets.
Overlooking the garden and accessible from the central hall of the office building is the Lavazza Museum, which gives us a better understanding of this family and its successful entrepreneurial history, now in its 4th generation for the leadership of this coffee giant. Despite the successes achieved, the family maintains a very personal approach to the guests: I was lucky enough to start the museum tour with an exceptional guide: Antonella Lavazza. It was indescribable the cordiality with which she hosted us, making us feel so welcome in her home and how she told us, as we do among friends over a cup of coffee, how her great-grandfather, Luigi Lavazza, in 1895, began the activity with a grocery store in via San Tommaso 7. Shortly after, he moved it to via San Tommaso 10, right where today you will find the Caffè San Tommaso 10, an elegant bar and restaurant, the Lavazza showcase in the city center.
The museum tour then continues with an interesting description of the coffee production process using multi-sensorial spaces and finally comes to the marketing and advertising aspect with a recreation of all the great slogans and images that have been part of our Italian society’s contemporary history.
Thus for the excellent coffee, for contemporary architecture, for the history of advertising, to feel at home, to discover a successful Italian entrepreneurial story, to feel part of an Italian project in the world, for all these reasons, or simply for curiosity, come to visit this new wonder of Turin and of the Lavazza family, which makes us feel proud to be from Turin and to be able to share with tourists and visitors alike another excellent example of a beautiful Turin story.