Umami, Cortona, Italy
Umami, Cortona, Italy

Project: Studio Svetti Architecture | Emanuele Svetti Architetto
Vertical green wall: LinfaDecor
Custom furnishings: Bimar Arredo Contract
Seating: Emu
Lighting: Flos 
Wallpaper: Texturae 
Paints: Sikkens
Resin: Art Paint by Stefano Viti
Outdoor zone: Frigerio 
Cushions: CeC Italia designed by Studio Svetti Architecture
Fabrics: Pierre Frey
Neon: Neon Art
Domotics: G Smart technology 
Photo credits: Andrea Bartolozzi Photographer

A spectacular contamination of opposites, from aesthetics to taste, in the new Umami restaurant in Cortona, which serves up fusion cuisine in a context of well-mixed extremes. The venue is located inside an evocative 19th-century building used as a restaurant for about 60 years now, in the context of the Giardini del Parterre, a project by Giuseppe Allegretti inside the city’s Monumental Park.

For the interiors, Emanuele Svetti of Studio Svetti Architecture has focused on the sensorial enhancement of differences, in a sophisticated approach, perhaps inspired by the meaning of the name Umami, which in Japanese culture is the fifth flavor. The delicate oriental culinary tradition coexists with rugged, sometimes terse design made of concrete and resin, glass, brass and aluminium.

The sober elegance of the gestures of the chefs, who prepare the dishes in a sort of ritual dance behind the counter, is accompanied by a lively natural setting. The internal walls are covered with vertical greenery, which combines with the vegetation of the park of age-old oak trees that burst into view thanks to large windows, creating an optical effect of natural indoor-outdoor continuation.

By contrast, there are also bright spaces and shady zones, featuring neon inscriptions and accent lights, like those of the stretched backlit ceiling of a steep, narrow staircase, the connection between the two levels of the restaurant, now reinterpreted through the use of wallpaper in pale hues.

The custom furnishings extend the chromatic focus on intense green, referencing the burnt earth hues and underbrush of Tuscany. The covered terrace offers a fine view of Valdichiana, from the slopes of Monte Amiata to Lake Trasimeno.