Apple to open outdoor amphitheatre and store in Milan

Apple Piazza Liberty in Milan designed by Norman Foster.

The 17th Apple store in Italy is set to open on 27 July in Milan’s historic Piazza Liberty, a few steps from the Duomo, but with a totally new concept signed by British architect Norman Foster.

Apple Piazza Liberty will present an expansive, outdoor amphitheatre that steps downward from the plaza toward fountains that create a wall of water. The waterfall, symbolizing Milan’s connection to canals, also serves as the store’s entrance, open 24 hours a day.

Visitors will descend through the fountain to the subterranean store floor below, where some 230 staff will be on hand to serve them. Apple says they want the square to become a place where friends come to relax, chat, and discover new interests.

The outdoor space will be used to host community events like summer movies. The first event will be the 27 July grand opening, with 21 local artists under the marquee “What Will You Do Tomorrow, Milan?”

Underneath Piazza Liberty, reports house magazine 9to5Mac, Apple has renovated the former Apollo Cinema, which closed in January 2017 after operating in the same location since 1959. The region’s cinema history extends back at least as far as 1870. Apple’s amphitheatre will be an indirect successor to the original organisation and carry on the cinema heritage established almost 150 years ago.

Apple Piazza Liberty will be the first new Apple store in Italy to open since Apple Firenze began welcoming customers in September 2015. The country’s first store opened in Rome ahead of the original iPhone’s launch in 2007.