By  on September 28, 2005

Great architecture and historic references were key factors for husband and wife Marisa Guerrizio and Roberto Monti, owners of Piazza Sempione, when selecting the location for their first-ever store, on Via del Babuino in Rome.

"We looked to create a refined and welcoming atmosphere," said Guerrizio, creative director for the brand. "The shades of white are an ideal backdrop for our collections."

Located on the path between two of the Eternal City's iconic monuments — Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps — the 864-square-foot store sits among a cluster of designer shops, family-run art galleries, jewelers and antique dealers.

With the help of Italian architect Paola Navone, the company converted a 17th-century space that once housed an upholstery and fabric store, installing clear crystal tables, white stuccoed ceilings and ornate chandeliers.

The company took special care before opening its first flagship, which comes after 15 years in business. Since Guerrizio and Monti started Piazza Sempione in Milan in 1990, they have been busy working on quality, production and service.

Choosing Rome over Milan was dictated by the fact that Rome always has been an important market for the brand. "Aside from the city's artistic wealth, Rome is one of the most important cities from a tourist standpoint," said Monti, chief executive officer.

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