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Olivetti Showroom

Negozio Olivetti

A 20th-century icon in St Mark's Square

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The elegant intelligence of the great architect Carlo Scarpa lies behind this true masterpiece of 20th-century architecture; after years of neglect, the doors have re-opened to reveal once again its spaces so meticulously designed and crafted my master artisans.

Entrusted to FAI on a loan-for-use basis by Generali Italia in 2011

Walking under the colonnades of the Procuratie Vecchie, you come to a small corner premises that, in 1957, Adriano Olivetti identified as the ideal building for a showcase that could transmit the company’s cultural values in a context where modernity and innovation could live together while respecting the time-honoured surroundings. This challenging commission was given to the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, who completely overhauled the dark, narrow, original unit with an open-plan design based on a brilliant, cutting-edge re-organisation of the spaces, in order to re-shape the volumes while making the most of the light and engaging in a dialogue with the decorative elements.

The resulting interior achieves a captivating equilibrium between functionality and style, with at its heart a light-filled space embellished by the Alberto Viani sculpture Nude in the Sun, which welcomes visitors into the showroom. But the true touch of genius is the extraordinary central staircase, seemingly suspended in the void – a bona fide masterpiece of lightness and dynamism. It is a rhythm that also marks out the spaces of the two long galleries on the upper floor, home to a number of small office spaces and to a part of the exhibition of vintage Olivetti typewriters and calculators. Scarpa's gift is also evident in the painstaking choice of materials: Aurisina marble, rosewood, African teak, metals and stone are all found alongside traditional Venetian stucco and mosaics revisited in a modern key. It is a design with great expressive and cultural impact that, after years of neglect, was given back to the city by Assicurazioni Generali, at the urging of FAI, which had flagged up the problem. Having restored the space, Generali entrusted its conservation and enhancement to FAI in 2011.

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Visitor information
Opening hours

The Olivetti Showroom is open to the public with the following opening hours:

  • every day except Monday: 10am - 6.30pm
  • The Olivetti Shoroom will be closed on 24, 25, 31 December, and January 1, and from January 7 to February 19

Last entry: 30 minutes before closure

*In the event of the water level being more than 90 cm above the average sea level (acqua alta), the opening hours may be subject to change.

How to get here

From Santa Lucia train station

  • on foot to St Mark's Square
  • by vaporetto to the Ponte di Rialto stop, then on foot to St Mark's Square.
Tickets
  • FAI members: free entry *
  • Adults: €8
  • Reduced (aged 6-18): €5
  • Children aged 0-5: free entry
  • Residents of the Venice City Council area: €5
  • Students aged 25 or under: €5
  • National Trust members: free entry*
  • Family: €22. Allows entry at reduced rates for family groups composed of 2 adults and 2 children (6-18 years of age). Free entry for any additional children in the family group.

*with the exception of specific events, when the additional event charge will apply.

During events the price may be subject to change

Guided Tours

Guided tours for groups should be booked in advance (minimum of 8 people). For information and bookings: fainegoziolivetti@fondoambiente.it

On the second and fourth Sunday of each month, we offer guided tours that begin at 12.30pm. These should be booked in advance and are available on a first-come-first-served basis (maximum 10 people).

Shopping

Purchases from the bookshop make a tangible contribution to supporting the work of FAI.

Accessibility

Disabled visitors can access free-of-charge those FAI properties that are open to the public by showing their ANMIC (Associazione Nazionale Mutilati e Invalidi Civili) card.

Venue hire and events
Choose the Showroom for your events

An elegant space in St Mark’s Square, Venice

Designed by Carlo Scarpa as a showroom for Olivetti typewriters, this unique, small space in St Mark’s Square is exquisitely elegant.

An ideal set for photo and film shoots, within a stunning architectural space, it is also suitable for small, private receptions.

By choosing a FAI property for your event, you are contributing to the conservation and protection of Italy’s heritage.

For information
Olivetti Showroom fainegoziolivetti@fondoambiente.it

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