The new, highly anticipated Apple Store in via del Corso in Rome opens Thursday 27 May at 10. Long jobs, those for the first store in Cupertino in the heart of the capital, but which have given birth to a space that objectively leaves you breathless: it was born in a historical building built at the end of the 19th century by the architect Salvatore Bianchi as the residence of the Marignoli family, then rearranged by Giulio Podesti and among other things the seat of the historic Aragno coffee, a meeting place for intellectuals and artists especially in the first thirty years of the twentieth century.
To be precise, it is located between piazza San Silvestro and street number 180 in via del Corso. The intervention of the Apple collects this strong noble and creative heritage declining it on the two floors of the building, connected by a staircase restored with Carrara marble.
Each intervention respects the history of the building, its materials, its architectural aspects and the use of the spaces with the utmost respect. Indeed, it enhances it. How? For example with the works recovered, restored or even rediscovered: there are for example two large frescoes by Fabio Cipolla and Ettore Ballerini, dating back to the early twentieth century, which depict Dawn and Twilight, returned to their original position. Or, again on the ground floor where the Aragno was, six graffiti panels by Afro Basaldella from 1950, in the post-cubist period of the artist, master of the Italian Informal. Only three graffiti were known, there are now six, restored with a year’s work.
“We look forward to continuing to consolidate the special relationship with the community of Rome,” he explained Deirde O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail and People, responsible for all stores (not just stores) and all staff around the world. A very deep relationship with the capital: this is where the first European Apple Store opened, 15 years ago, in 2006 (today it has 22 thousand employees in the Old Continent). Now inaugurates the largest in continental Europe, the 17th in Italy and, in fact, the first in the heart of Rome (the others are located in the shopping centers on the outskirts). An investment worthy of the Eternal City.
Two floors with six and a half meters high ceilings and full-height windows for a very bright environment, with the spectacular staircase connecting them (and a skylight resurrected thanks to a LED system). The main floor is marked by a long corridor around which the service, exhibition, sales and assistance spaces unfold. Like the inevitable Genius Bar with the coffered ceiling of the end of the 19th century with geometric motifs and decorations in gold leaf totally restored up to the “board room” dedicated to the specific training of entrepreneurs. Instead of the ballroom of the marquis, deputy and senator Filippo Marignoli there is instead the forum in which practical sessions, free and open to all, of the program are held every day Today at Apple. They range from coding lessons to music passing through photography, art and design seminars. Live events are suspended for now, they will resume soon and those online may soon arrive. Among other things, there will also be a baptized program Made in Rome and dedicated specifically to young Romans and which should also develop in the peripheral municipalities.
Jasmine and olive trees on the terrace overlooking the cloister and its camphor trees, the last legacy of what was the Augustinian convent of Santa Maria Maddalena delle Convertite before becoming a noble residence, the Apple Store in via del Corso will count two hundred employees highly qualified – including 100 new hires – from 19 countries who speak twenty languages including Chinese, Korean, Turkish and Malagasy. Those who want to visit it on the first day can book on apple.com/it/viadelcorso but you can enter without a reservation, depending on the flow of the moment.
Via del Corso therefore joins the 117 Apple Stores present in 12 European countries. Apple’s presence in Europe has lasted for over 40 years and supports over 1.8 million jobs.