Prada-Marchesi pastry shop opens in Milan's Via Monte Napoleone

The name and the treats are the same as those featured for nearly 200 years in the historic shop in Via Santa Maria alla Porta, but the atmosphere is inevitably rather Prada-esque at the Pasticceria (pastry shop) Marchesi, opened on 9th September in Milan's Via Monte Napoleone. The historic pastry shop's opening at the heart of Milan's city centre is in fact the first since Prada acquired in an 80% stake in the confectionery business in March 2014.

The historic Marchesi pastry shop in Milan

"In nearly 200 years this is the first time that Marchesi changed locations; we always stuck to our historic venue, it took Prada to give us the confidence to leave," quipped Angelo Marchesi, who didn't hide the fact that he felt "a bit of a lump in his throat, since landing in via Monte Napoleone with such a wonderful shop feels quite special."

The shop, extending over the 120 sq m area of the former Venini store, and designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, exudes the typical Milanese atmosphere of the original shop in the Magenta neighbourhood. A new touch is provided by lighting and graphics that make the pastel hues of chocolates, dragées and macaroons stand out, in their new boxes of minimalist perspex or sophisticated powder blue cardboard. 

A gold-leaf logo is evident on the entrance's stone façade, while a large mirror hangs above a marble counter with cherry wood shelving. Dark marble floors reflect the ceiling's white, illuminated exposed beams, and glass niches harbouring sweet treasures are carved into the central wall in green stucco.  There are also two smaller rooms with marble coffee tables and green velvet chairs and sofas, all enveloped by a green, flowery jacquard upholstery. The new interiors were designed by Miuccia Prada's trusted architect but the themed display windows, showcasing special hampers for Christmas - with the signature hand-crafted panettone - or St. Valentine, are the preserve of Margherita, wife of Angelo Marchesi, who’s still in charge as the company's board chairman.

The pastry shop will feature innovations on the original product range, such as preparations for home-made puddings, ice cream, chocolate creams, preserves, chutneys, teas and ground coffee, and will be open 7 days a week from 7.30 am to 9 pm, catering for lunch and the traditional aperitivo. All pastries and desserts will be created daily on location.

In 2016 Prada plans to open a new venue in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, inside the building currently being renovated which will welcome, besides the fashion label's menswear store, a Marchesi pastry shop/restaurant and three floors dedicated to the Prada Foundation. The latter will be another venue for shows and exhibitions alongside the Largo Isarco venue, opened last May. The luxury confectionery business is earmarked for international development, with planned opening in Hong Kong and Japan and in other locations to be defined in Asia and the Middle East.

"Our intention," Stefano Cantino, Prada's Director of Marketing, Communications and Commercial Development has explained, "is not to grant licences but to maintain direct ownership of all the shops."
 

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