A new location for the company’s history
reading time: 5 minutes
The Amaro Lucano Museum in Pisticci, in the province of Matera, is the new home of this brand, a symbol of Italian style around the world.
A family of entrepreneurs, now in its fourth generation, decided to refurbish old premises to tell the history of its brand and of the product it has been making since the late 19th century. The result was the Amaro Lucano Museum in Pisticci, in the province of Matera. It is a place that delves into the past, but also very much anticipates the future.
The brand had an unforgettable advertising slogan: “What more do you want from life?” And a pleonastic answer: “A Lucano”, referring to the famous amaro liqueur from Pisticci.
This wish dates back 126 years to 1894 when Pasquale Vena decided not to follow his brothers to America, but to dedicate himself to confectionery and the art of alcoholic infusions to experiment with what, after many attempts, would become one of the most famous amaro liqueurs in the world. It was certainly the favourite of the Savoy family, who appointed Vena a Knight, and made his company the official supplier to the Royal House.
In 2010, the family decided to renovate the production facilities built in the ’60s to create a brand museum and store.
The concept for the new premises was developed by Canadian firm GPAIA - Giannone Petricone Associates. The executive project and work supervision were handled by architect Domenico Martino of the architecture firm of the same name based in Milan and Pisticci.
The journey into the history and passion of the brand, an emblem of Italian expertise, begins in the courtyard’s aromatic garden, where the thirty herbs used to make the Lucano amaro can be admired, touched and inhaled.
In the first entrance block, coming from the herbarium, you will encounter the sales area, a storage room, the kitchen, a meeting room and the tasting room. The sales area has a central counter that creates a sort of obligatory route for visiting and tasting the company’s products and hosting the latest mixology experiences.
Crossing the garden you reach the exhibition space where Lucano’s story is depicted on a large wooden wall, almost echoing the movements of the land on which the company was founded, the ‘calanchi’, deep, narrow erosion gullies typical of the Matera area. All the rooms are a tale of land and tradition created through materials. Marazzi’s Mystone Ceppo di Gré20 is a distinctive element inspired by the traditional Italian rock characterised by the inclusion of large pebbles.
These porcelain stoneware slabs are 20 millimetres thick and sufficiently versatile and resistant to foot traffic that they can be laid both indoors – in busy areas – and outdoors, either with adhesive or laid dry on gravel. Such was the case in the museum, where the designers gave this finish, in the anthracite colour variant, the role of unifying the exhibition spaces with the herbarium walkways.
Wooden surfaces encroach on the large stoneware slabs, defining a scheme that also leaves room for elements made of copper, another retro material, which has always been used at the company, in historic production areas. Metal is also used for the large carpentry access doors, painted in black and red, the colour of the brand. This constant reference to the land and its natural resources can also be strongly felt in the museum, which offers a technological and interactive journey through five different themed areas: the land of Lucania; the history of the amaro; the advertising campaigns that contributed to the brand’s success; the processes for treating the herbs; the Pacchiana, the female figure who identifies the brand and wears a traditional Pisticci costume.