The historic 19th century Palazzo Marignoli in the heart of Rome is the site of the newest Apple Store in Italy. Apple Via del Corso, named after the vibrant street on which the store is located, is Apple’s flagship retail store in Rome and the 17th in all of Italy.
Designed by Foster+Partners, Apple Via del Corso preserves the grand Palazzo Marignoli in which it is located, with the historic building carefully restored to its former glory. Apple’s restoration of the building not only celebrates Rome’s rich architectural legacy but also the location, which represents the historical centre of the ancient city. Apple’s modern technology juxtaposed against the history of the Palazzo Marignoli is a beautiful study in contrast.
Apple Via del Corso will serve as an all-new, centrally located space for Apple team members to provide best-in-class service and support to the local community, says Apple.
“We can’t wait to begin a new chapter in Rome with the opening of Apple Via del Corso,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People.
“The new store represents a celebration of the unique history and art of Roman culture, and we hope to inspire creativity among the local community with our Made in Rome program and future Today at Apple sessions.”
Considered one of Apple’s most significant restoration projects, Palazzo Marignoli was originally constructed in 1873 by renowned architect Salvatore Bianchi and subsequently renovated by architect Giulio Podesti. Named after the original owner of the home, Marquis Filippo Marignoli, Palazzo Marignoli also housed Caffè Aragno, a popular gathering place that used to draw artists, writers and actors. Apple worked with a team of local restorers to preserve and revive the historic cafe.
According to Apple, several pieces of art showcased in Caffè Aragno have been carefully restored and thoughtfully incorporated within the new store design, including multiple graffiti panels created by Italian painter Afro Basaldella in 1950. Two large ceiling paintings – Fabio Cipolla’s ‘Dawn’ and Ettore Ballerini’s ‘Dusk’ – have also been restored and integrated into the store, described by Apple as “a thoughtful combination of historic and contemporary architecture”.
Natural light streams into the interiors through large glass windows on the restored facade facing the Via del Corso. A lush courtyard featuring native Camphora trees forms the green heart of the palazzo and also pays homage to the historic monastery Santa Maria Maddalena delle Convertite, which was originally located at this site.
Inside, a monumental staircase dating back to 1888, which was used by Marignoli to access his residence on the first floor, has been restored with its original locally sourced Carrara marble detailing. The upper floor houses the Apple Forum within the vaulted former ballroom of the palazzo, and will host Today at Apple sessions. Adjacent to the Forum is a dedicated space for Apple Support and the Genius Bar, which features an elaborate geometrically patterned, hand-painted ceiling, carefully restored by a team of conservators. A landscaped terrace on the first floor is filled with jasmine vines and olive trees inspired by Roman roof terraces, and looks down upon the canopy of trees in the courtyard below.
Stefan Behling, head of studio, Foster+Partners, said, “The joy of the project was to peel back and rediscover the layers of history throughout the building and revealing its eclectic past, which ranges from the historic painted ceilings and the frescoes by Fabio Cipolla, both from the 1890s, to the more recent graffiti artworks by Afro Basaldella. Palazzo Marignoli has seen so much throughout its history, and we feel truly privileged to be able to be part of its newest phase of life. Especially, as Rome is one of my favourite cities in the world.”
Via del Corso joins the network of 117 Apple Store locations across 12 countries in Europe.