Il Ristoro di Cristiano Filippini, Castelfranco di Sopra, Tuscany, Italy

Every day since its opening in 1785, Antica Macelleria Filippini Cristiano at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele has been the destination of meat-loving inhabitants of the small Tuscan town of Castelfranco di Sopra. Changing hands from generation to generation, the butcher shop stands today as it always has, perhaps more popular now than ever before.

Sensing an opportunity in this vitality, the Filippini family has now opened a modern trattoria across the Piazza. And while the kitchen hangs tightly onto the family’s ‘highest quality food’ tradition, there is much in the new Il Ristoro di Christiano Filippini that is completely contemporary and 70s disco funky.

The family engaged Florence-based Timothee Studio to create a restaurant deserving to carry the family’s traditions to tomorrow and to attract a demanding clientele.

The multi-discipline studio Timothee, founded in 2018 by Niccoló AntonielliCosimo Bonciani and Andrea Mascagni, is known for being a master of connecting vintage with contemporary.

The restaurant has a theatre-set vibe as the various spaces are dramatically unveiled to the guests when they step further into the historic premises.

We know the blood-red colour scheme is intended to draw our attention, and it does, but we cannot help going week in the knees when each ancient feature comes to view. The gorgeous sandy brick walls, and especially the vaulted ceilings, they are what makes this place special.

And while the shiny steel walls, the multi-colour mural, and Superstudio’s 1969-1972 Quaderna 2600 tables for Zanotta give the restaurant its contemporary ambiance, we love the old brick that reminds us of the Filippini family roots.

The dramatic lighting in the windowless space adds yet another layer of theatricality to this vibrant and welcome addition to the ancient Piazza. Tuija Seipell

Images Helenio Barbetta.

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