The largest Apple store in Europe opens today in Rome, one of the most significant restoration projects of the Cupertino brand.
In the historic Palazzo Marignoli, around a luxuriant courtyard, reminiscent of an ancient monastery, among huge windows flooded with natural light, monumental stairways in Carrara marble, works of art and 6-meter high ceilings painted by hand and now restored to the ancient splendor, inaugurates Apple Via del Corso, designed in collaboration with the Foster + Partners studio.
A tribute to the rich artistic and cultural history of the city of Rome, the new store emphasizes, by contrast, the essential, clear and clean lines that distinguish the concept – simple and at the same time absolutely recognizable – of every Apple space in the world. The careful restoration returns fascinating, spacious and bright environments, in which the original elements, the precious materials and the precious details interact with the tech soul of the products and services offered.
Designed in 1873 by the architect Salvatore Bianchi, then subjected to further intervention by the architect Giulio Podesti, Palazzo Marignoli was the residence of the Marquis Filippo Marignoli, and later housed the Caffè Aragno, one of the most important meeting places in Rome, frequented by artists, writers and actors.
Using the specialized collaboration of a team of local restorers, several art works exhibited at Caffè Aragno have been expertly restored and carefully reintegrated into the new interior design project. Among these there are Alba by Fabio Cipolla and Crepuscolo by Ettore Ballerini Twilight, two large ceiling paintings dating back to the early 1900s, as well as several graffiti panels made in 1950 by the italian painter Afro Basaldella.
Steeped in history, the rooms open up in a constant dialogue with the outside world. The large windows overlooking Via del Corso, in fact, allow natural light to flow inside. The shop also develops around a luxuriant courtyard, reminiscent of the ancient monastery of Santa Maria Maddalena delle Convertite, dotted with camphor trees. On the first floor, an outdoor space, inspired by the typical Roman terraces and adorned with jasmine and olive trees, overlooks the courtyard below, bringing additional brightness to the spaces, as well as an unexpected view.
Inside, visitors are welcomed – and surprised – by the monumental staircase in Carrara marble dating back to 1888, carefully restored in every original detail. Upstairs, the space called Forum occupies what was once the ballroom of the Marquis palace, while, adjacent, the area dedicated to Apple support and the Genius Bar stands out for its splendid hand-painted ceiling with geometric motifs, restored thanks to a meticulous work.
The Apple Via del Corso space opens with a novelty: Made in Rome, the first Today at Apple program designed to provide Roman girls and boys with inspiration, skills and tools to explore all aspects of creativity. These are sessions led by a group of over 40 local artists working in the fields of music, art, design and video, conceived with the aim of supporting Roman cultural centers. When it becomes possible to propose again in-person courses and seminars, the new store will also host free Today at Apple sessions on topics ranging from photography to art to design.
“The new store represents a celebration of the uniqueness of Rome's artistic and cultural history; we hope to inspire the creativity of the local community with our Made in Rome program and future Today at Apple sessions” explains Deirdre O'Brien, Senior Vice President Retail + People di Apple, during the presentation of the new space.