Destinations

Tour Italian Designer Brunello Cucinelli's Idyllic Village in Umbria

Welcome to Solomeo, the "hamlet of the spirit."
IMAGE COURTESY BRUNELLO CUCINELLI
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In the unlikely setting of a medieval hamlet in Italy, fashion and philosophy are flourishing. Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli has been restoring the small town of Solomeo, where his eponymous company is located, for the past 30 years. Cucinelli has taken the process to heart: remediating the 173-acre landscape with trees and flowers, restoring a 12th-century church, building schools and a theater, and maintaining the Brunello Cucinelli manufacturing plant.

On Tuesday, he unveiled the latest project in the restoration, a travertine monument with brass lettering that reads: “Tribute to Human Dignity.” Underneath, the five major continents are listed, which underscore the project’s global nature.

The monument coincides with the release of his first book and the 40th anniversary of Brunello Cucinelli. The Dream of Solomeo encapsulates Cucinelli’s personal philosophy, which he refers to as “humanitarian capitalism.” The core of this outlook, Cucinelli explains, is that “it is important for people to work in a pleasant environment, to be paid a slightly better wage, and to feel a shared sense of responsibility and respect.” Within that, he believes that the typically disdained outskirts of cities can be transformed into productive, pleasant hubs—which Solomeo amply demonstrates.

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A "Tribute to Human Dignity"


Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli's latest project for the restoration of Solomeo, Italy, is a monument that illustrates his values of "beauty, humanity, and truth."

Solomeo


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The clothing company's headquarters are based in the small medieval town of Solomeo, about ten minutes outside of Puglia. Cucinelli has been restoring Solomeo over the past 30 years.

Unveiling the Moment


Cucinelli gave a speech to about 500 attendees last Tuesday to celebrate the monument and the release of his first book, The Dream of Solomeo.

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Solomeo's Theater


When Cucinelli was growing up, he was dismayed at the way his father, who worked in a factory, was treated. He vowed that although he wanted to build a successful business, it would never come at the expense of others. To that end, he has created schools and a theater in Solomeo, among other amenities, for the people he employs and who live in the village.

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The Umbrian Countryside


Cucinelli writes in his book: "I was once told that working in a village could not be compatible with the speed of modern life, but the company instead has continually grown at a gracious pace. Today, I am certain that the internet is the answer to reversing the trend of individuals leaving ancient villages, as it permits us to work in these beautiful places minimizing the need to travel."

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The Fruits of Labor


The landscape of Solomeo is awash in green after Cucinelli had several industrial buildings removed and the area planted with olive trees, flowers, and wheat.

The Hamlet of the Spirit


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Rolling vineyards in Solomeo are not just for show—Cucinelli plans to release his first bottles of wine this year. 

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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