By Mariangela Peci, Tourism Officer at FAI
“Visiting Olivetti Showroom is like going back in time” Mariangela Peci, Tourism Officer at FAI
Olivetti Showroom is a little hidden gem of contemporary architecture located in the heart of St. Mark’s Square, in Venice.
Commissioned to Carlo Scarpa by Adriano Olivetti in 1957, the venue was aimed to be a “business card” of the company based in Ivrea and was conceived to embody the search for quality of Olivetti’s production.
At that time Olivetti was an expanding firm with international branches in 17 countries, whereas Carlo Scarpa was not yet the famous architect that he became later. However, Adriano Olivetti already believed in his talent.
Visiting the Showroom is like going back in time, admiring the same models of typewriters displayed when the venue was open to the public for the first time, in 1958. Amongst them, the famous “Lettera 22” and the “Lexikon 80”, both designed by Marcello Nizzoli and Giuseppe Beccio.
Once passed through the front door, the golden bronze sculpture “Nude in the Sun”, realised by Alberto Viani, catches the eye. A sense of calm and silence of a Zen atmosphere permeates the whole space, the only sound being that of the water flowing from a fountain made of black Belgian marble. Indeed, Scarpa was greatly influenced by Japanese architecture, which in this case is combined with elements of Venetian craftsmanship such as the floor made of Murano glass tiles of light pastel shades. Noteworthy is also the central staircase made of Aurisina marble.
Since 2011, this unique place, owned by Assicurazioni Generali, has been managed, protected and valorised by FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano, a non-for-profit Italian trust, which aims to protect Italian environmental, historical and artistic heritage, operating thanks to the support of individuals, companies and institutions.
The Showroom is open to the public from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, from Tuesday to Sunday. But, since this year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Olivetti Showroom as FAI venue, there is more! Until November 21st you will have a chance to take part in special guided tours with our renovators who take care of the Showroom and its fine materials like Aurisina marble, Venetian stucco and woods.
Mariangela Peci’s bio: Mariangela got a bachelor degree in “Administration, Finance and Control” at LUISS – Guido Carli in Rome and a master degree in “Arts Management” at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. After training and working experiences in museums and cultural institutions such as Mart, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, since 2019 she has been working for FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano as Tourism Officer at Olivetti Showroom.
Are you planning a friend or family get-together in Italy? How about renting a design-apartment in the heart of Venice? This BMJ’s Travel Experience is for culturally curious travellers looking for an Italian escape to spend some time with their dear ones in a vibrant town, as well as taking part in immersive experiences with locals.