A 160-year journey



A 160-year

AArt leaves you breathless. There’s no middle ground. It’s nothing like a warm breeze, rather art rages like a powerful hurricane. You have no other choice but to let yourself get carried away. And while it happens, all you can do is smile.

And that’s what happens as you leave Galleria Campari after an hour-long tour... or was it one hundred and fifty years and counting?

But that’s not how the story ends.

It continues for you, a young lady studying fine arts. You’ve been preparing yourself for this all your life, ever since when you were young. Back then, you were blown away as you browsed through the pages of your art book, the one that took you from Michelangelo’s Moses to Depero’s second Futurism wave in the blink of an eye.

But there’s no time to get lost in the memories of old readings. You check your clock: it’s late. The Galleria is already closed, but not the Gardens.

And so, the tour goes on.

You step out in the cold, still October air.

It’s just you

immersed in that
perfectly kept greenery

But it feels as if you were not alone. Out of the corner of your eye, you catch a faraway figure who disappears behind some shrubs. Maybe another late visitor? But the thought immediately melts away, like snow in the sunshine.

You keep walking. A voice behind your shoulders jolts you. – Signorina, we’re about to close. I don’t want to rush you. Art is patient and knows it needs time. But please allow me to give you some advice for a marvellous ending to your tour. Take this... The keeper kindly hands you a tablet. You observe it with surprise.

Then you look at him and spot a reassuring smile on his face. He has a thick copper-striped beard, high cheeks, and a curious, alert gaze. Then you notice his silhouette and you’d swear he looks like the figure you just saw disappearing a few moments before. You stop thinking these impossible scenarios and grab the tablet with both hands.

You thank him, turn around and look: the Gardens are still there in front of you, immersed in green. You stop to listen to the rustle of leaves. A moment later you realise that the keeper has gone.

But you don’t spend much time thinking about it as your eyes are all for the device now. You sit down on a bench, immersed in the quiet of someone who has found peace after a storm.

The small screen turns blue. A whirlwind of pictures, videos, black and white memories, futuristic graphics, posters, works of art, brands, glasses and colours captivates you.

Everything begins with


who created the red aperitivo in 1860. There follows the first factory in 1904 and the Camparino café in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan in 1915. Not to mention all the artists who became an integral part of the enterprise: Hohenstein, Dudovich, Depero, Cappiello, Fellini, Nespolo. And then, towards the end of the century, the first acquisitions: Cynar, Crodino and Cinzano, the formula of the Turin vermouth from 1757. Then the Campari calendar comes along, followed by SKYY vodka, crystal-clear like the San Francisco sky. Another historical brand, Aperol, joins from Padua, carrying with it the historical Spritz drink, which takes off from Veneto to reach all over the world.

Still, your eyes are locked to the screen.

From Speyside, Scotland comes Glen Grant, one of the best single-malt whiskies. Kentucky joins in with its quintessential bourbon: Wild Turkey. Even the taste of Mexican agave cannot resist joining the Campari Group, with its Espolòn tequila. And it’s not over: Appleton Estate from Jamaica, the delicious taste of Grand Marnier from France, and so many more.

You raise your eyes again, and suddenly notice a hedge maze. It’s right there, in front of you, a few metres away. But you’d swear it hadn’t been there before.

Still clutching the tablet, you get up and walk towards that botanical wonder that amazes you so much. You are attracted by the mystery that’s secretly encapsulated in that shrine of shrubs and roots. Finally, you step in.

And there you see it, in front of you.

A massive marble sculpture proudly standing at the heart of that maze of symmetry.

You get a notification on your tablet. The screen switches on again, you start reading.


a sculpture created by Oliviero Rainaldi from a single Carrara white marble block weighing 74 tons. The work is inspired by the orange zest that enwraps the famous Spiritello by Cappiello. It’s located within an intricate concentric hedge maze. If seen from above, it forms an immediately recognisable and elegant composition: the symbol of infinity."

Now you are in the eye of the storm. All around, the world indistinctly blurs into a boisterous whirl, while peace and balance reign at the centre.

Lost in the sinuosity of the lines and this deep sense of the infinite, you catch your breath for a moment. The world goes back to its place, where it has always been. Infinito Campari appears in front of you, in all of its majestic silence. You look at your watch. Oblivious of everything, it has kept ticking incessantly. Now it’s late, time to go. Home is waiting for you. While you head to the exit, you take a last glimpse of the sculpture and let yourself be enraptured one more time. While you turn your eyes, in the distance, outside the hedge maze, you see the figure you spotted earlier.

Or was it the keeper, after all?

The man looks at the young woman walking away and sees her putting down the tablet before taking the exit. He feels satisfied.

Even today, just like the past 160 years, his legacy won’t be lost.

His boundless love for art is still shared by the new generations. Even though the media has changed, the spirit of art has remained unchanged. He takes his pocket watch out of his overcoat.

It’s late for him too, so he’s forced to leave. The Gardens are now closed. Not a problem, he says to himself. He’ll return the next day, as he’s done for over one hundred years.

On the other hand,
he’s Davide Campari

he’ll be here tomorrow too. Always ready to welcome the curious people who are willing to embark on a journey of discovery. Enraptured by hidden secrets, they’ll let themselves be inspired by the infinite that lies ahead, waiting for them.

The Spiritheque