Apple’s Roman Palazzo
Apple has been creating jaw-dropping stores across Europe for more than a decade and a half (the Regent Street flagship in London was the first, in late 2004) and today it added to its 117-strong store portfolio with the opening of another branch in Rome, its 17th in Italy.
This one is as much about the building that contains it as it is concerned with the business of selling slick looking pieces of tech. The two-floor store is in fact the Palazzo Marignoli, a highly elaborate structure dating largely from the 19th century whose grand façade contrasts strongly with Apple’s no-nonsense, white-based minimalism within.
All the usual elements are in place, whether it’s the Genius Bar, the ‘town hall’ meeting and event space, or the rows of highly finished mid-shop wooden tables covered in laptops, phones and tablets.
But this interior is as much an exercise in contemplation as a tech temple and Rome’s Via del Corso will be better for its arrival.