mercoledì 8 luglio 2015

Florence Breaks into the Technological World With a Massive Apple Store

by Laura Tressel

As a city, Florence is constantly under construction. Scaffolding dispersed throughout the city mark the buildings that are receiving a facelift. Usually they are old buildings which need new paint or structural fixes, but sometimes the work means something bigger. In this case, Florence is working on a project that will completely change the face of Piazza della Repubblica: the introduction of a giant Apple store.
Black walls hide the project until the big reveal. 
Apple has stores around the world, but in Italy they are sparse. When it opens in September, this location will be the second in the Tuscany region, and the sixteenth in Italy. However, the size of the store, around 5,000 square meters (53,800 square feet), will make it one of the largest in Europe. Smaller sections of the premise will be devoted to the actual store and a customer service area, while the major use will be for showcasing events, conferences, and even concerts.

There have been plans to change the piazza for a while, with many people concerned about its appearance and relevance. The Apple store is being placed in the building that previously housed BNL bank, and the customer service area will be built in the old vaults, giving it a unique atmosphere. A large amount of the money for the project (950,000 euro) comes from the bank, which owed it to the city of Florence. This money, along with a smaller amount provided by the city (600,000 euro), is being used to build the store and to renovate the pavement of the square. When the project is finished, Piazza della Repubblica will be refreshed, and the Apple store will light up the archways with it's glass walls.

With this addition, Florence hopes to attract more business and more attention to the piazza. For a city rooted in history it can be difficult to break into the technology industry, but opening this space for events and concerts, and offering support for Apple products is sure to improve Florence's modern image.
The Apple store is located on the left of the arch. 
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