Apple has premiered Apple Piazza Liberty, a new retail location in the center of Milan. The project, which includes both a public plaza and a store below, brings Apple’s latest retail design to Italy for the first time.
Just off the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most popular pedestrian streets in Milan, visitors will first see a dramatic glass fountain that serves as the entrance to the store and a backdrop to the large outdoor amphitheater. The piazza, clad in Beola Grigia, a stone used throughout Milan, is open to the public 24 hours a day and will host special events year-round amongst 14 Gleditsia Sunburst trees planted in the area.
“There’s no better expression of our vision for Apple stores serving as modern-day gathering places than Apple Piazza Liberty,” Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail, said in a press release. “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.”
Apple Piazza Liberty provides a venue for Today at Apple, free hourly sessions on photography, filmmaking, music creation, coding, design and more, that aim to unlock creativity in all attendees. This September, Apple Piazza Liberty will host a special month-long Milan Series, where 21 local artists will share their visions for the creative future of Milan.
“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.”
After descending a stone and metal staircase cantilevered from the Beola Grigia wall to the store below, visitors will be met by a team of 230 employees, many of whom come to Milan from Apple stores around the world.
Apple Piazza Liberty opens Thursday, July 26, at 5 p.m., and Today at Apple registration is available now at apple.com/today. With its opening, Apple will have 504 retail stores in 25 countries and an online store available in 39 countries.