Apple opens beautiful retail store in Milan, Italy (updated)

I don’t usually get too excited when Apple opens new retail stores – it opens and closes them all the time. This time it’s different, because I get the sense Apple has pulled out all the stops to deliver something remarkable with its new Milan store.

Update: Apple has now opened the store. I’ve added a photo gallery taken during the opening to the story below.

Jony Ive seems thrilled

The store is situated just off the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most popular pedestrian streets in Milan and it’s a big design.

That Jony Ive has emerged from wherever Apple keeps him in order to provide some kind of statement about the new retail store opening makes me think there’s more to this opening than usual.

“To work within one of Italy’s historic piazzas is both a great responsibility and wonderful challenge,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer.

“We combined two fundamental elements of the Italian piazza — water and stone — adding a glass portal that creates a multi-sensory experience as visitors enter the store through a cascading fountain that seems to envelop them.”

A grand design

There’s a number of interesting things about this space. Not only is it one of the first of Apple’s latest retail store designs to hit Italy, but the store will be open 24-hours a day.

The project, which includes both a grand public plaza and a store below. “Visitors will first see a dramatic glass fountain that serves as the entrance to the store and a backdrop to the large outdoor amphitheatre,” Apple says.

“There’s no better expression of our vision for Apple stores serving as modern-day gathering places than Apple Piazza Liberty,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail.

“In a city with such rich history of art, entertainment and creativity, it’s an honor to establish a space where anyone can be inspired to learn, create and connect with their neighbors.”

The store will have a staff of 230 people, will host a range of special events, and opens this week.

More here.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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