As impressive as the sleekly minimalist, modernist Apple Stores are when they’re built from the ground up, there’s something dazzling about the company’s retail outlets that take over and restore classic buildings.
That second category certainly applies to Apple Via del Corso, which opens Thursday in the historic city of Rome. The 17th Apple Store in Italy, the new (well, old) structure is described by Apple as one of its “most significant restoration projects.”
That may be understating its appeal, too. Judging by the images, this could be the most spectacular Apple Store yet.
“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 and human people, in a statement. “The new store represents a celebration of the unique history and art of Roman culture. We hope to inspire creativity among the local community with our Made in Rome program and future Today at Apple sessions.”
Apple Via del Corso
The building itself was constructed in 1873, more than a century before Apple sprang into being. The Palazzo Marignoli was home to Caffè Aragno. Apple describes it as “one of Rome’s most notable gathering places in its day frequented by artists, writers, and actors.”
As part of the renovation, Apple restored several pieces of art originally showcased in Caffè Aragno. It also restored two large ceiling paintings dating from the early 1900s. Instead of the usual floating glass staircase found in Apple Stores, the staircase is a marble one dating back to 1888.
Apple’s most impressive restoration yet?
This isn’t Apple’s first impressive restoration project. Other ambitious Apple Store restorations include Apple Champs-Élysées in Paris, Apple Regent Street in London and Apple Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C. All of those are jaw-droppingly beautiful Apple Stores. However, Apple Via del Corso makes a good argument for being the jewel in Apple’s retail crown.
Do you live in Rome? Are you planning to be at tomorrow’s official opening? What’s your favorite Apple Store in the world? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.