Alessandro Michele's quest for a home in every city he visits is a pursuit fueled by romanticism. He's drawn to faded beauties, historical relics steeped in lost grandeur, and embarks on a transformative journey with each. One such endeavor led him to the iconic Palazzo Scapucci in Rome.
During his teenage years in the '90s, Alessandro, a singular punk figure with vibrant green hair, wandered the Eternal City's streets, immersing himself in its contrasts. Amidst a conservative neighborhood, he found solace among anarchist friends and explored avant-garde warehouses like Babylonia and Dakota, vibrant hubs attracting diverse outsiders.
His fascination with history blossomed early, influenced by his uncle's furniture restoration studio and the Renaissance wonders of Villa Giulia. While peers reveled in nightlife, Alessandro gazed at architectural marvels, entranced by buildings' untold stories.
For Alessandro, Rome's allure wasn't limited to structures; it extended to art, literature, and fashion. His transformative tenure as Gucci's creative director mirrored this enchantment, as he infused the brand with a narrative inspired by ancient artifacts and people.
His penchant for reviving dilapidated spaces led him to Palazzo Scapucci, an 800-year-old building with a rich history encompassing papal ties and intriguing legends. Here, he found hidden treasures during the restoration, uncovering original roof engravings and frescoes, connecting with centuries of history.
Rooted in his upbringing, Alessandro's father, a free spirit involved in social movements, instilled a deep respect for communal living. Memories of their time in squatted homes molded Alessandro's keen observation skills and empathy for diverse individuals, shaping his philosophy of providing refuge and support.
The palazzo's transformation became Alessandro's labor of love. From discovering secret vaults to restoring intricate details, every corner held a story. He showcased his eclectic collection of antiques, curated spaces with historic elements, and revealed hidden passageways, infusing each room with character.
Despite his globally recognized status, Alessandro cherishes anonymity in his bustling neighborhood, indulging in leisurely strolls and absorbing the city's serenity. His love for cinema and theater reflects in his selective yet profound film choices.
Amidst Rome's chaotic energy, Alessandro finds solace in safe pockets like Campo de' Fiori's market and the enchanting church of Sant'Andrea della Valle. These moments ground him in the city's timeless beauty and remind him of Rome's enduring allure.
For Alessandro, Rome isn't merely a city; it's a force—beautiful yet demanding. Its ancient presence offers perspective, reminding him of life's transient nature. As we meander back to Palazzo Scapucci, Alessandro muses on Rome's permanence, its ability to captivate and challenge, grounding him in a profound appreciation for its complexities.