The new Mondadori Duomo bookstore is opening in Milan: a new cultural hub for all book lovers, where innovation is balanced with tradition

The presentation included a discussion on “Reader-sized bookstores. Cultural and meeting hubs” with Carmine Perna, Managing Director of Mondadori Retail, Ricardo Franco Levi, President of the AIE (the Italian Publishers Association), Paolo Ambrosini, President of ALI-Confcommercio, and Michela Addis, Professor of Economics and Enterprise Management, Roma Tre University

According to a survey by Mondadori Retail presented today:

  • 9 readers out of 10 still love to buy books in a bookshop;
  • 90% of the people interviewed see bookshops as cultural hubs;
  • bookshop staff are expected to have the preparation and skill to recommend the most suitable product;
  • customers feel that bookshops must be comfortable, inspiring settings that can meet the needs of the whole family

The new Mondadori Duomo bookstore, a one-of-a-kind cultural and meeting hub, is opening tomorrow in an iconic place at the heart of Milan.

With innovation and tradition perfectly combined and a very unique concept, Mondadori Duomo will be dedicated to the world of books:

  • 100,000 books available on the bookstore’s three floors;
  • 30,000 different titles;
  • 8,000 stories that children and young adults will love;
  • 5,000 different manga and comics;

in addition to digital reading stations, experiential and theme areas and a large central arena.

The new bookstore of the Mondadori Group, led by Antonio Porro (Managing Director), is in Palazzo dei Portici Meridionali, a Neo-Renaissance-style building, and interacts constantly with Milan’s most famous square, whose architecture invites visitors to experiment and let themselves be amazed, enraptured and carried away.

“The new Mondadori Duomo will be a bookstore for all intents and purposes, where visitors can experience books in full.
It is a unique project in our network, in a very iconic square,” declared Carmine Perna, Managing Director of Mondadori Retail, the Group company that manages the most extensive network of bookshops in Italy. “In addition to books (the focus of what we have to offer), visitors will find many other culture-related services and products, such as music, writing, games and events. Ultimately, it aims to be somewhere people can meet and ideas can spread, a cultural and experiential hub at the service of the city and of anybody who wishes to experience it,” concluded Mr Perna.

To mark the opening, a round table was held, discussing “Reader-sized bookstores. Cultural and meeting hubs” in which the Managing Director spoke with Ricardo Franco Levi, President of the AIE, Paolo Ambrosini, President of ALI-Confcommercio, and Michela Addis, Professor of Economics and Enterprise Management at Roma Tre University. The moderator was Alessandra Tedesco

The discussion aimed at analysing in depth the role of bookshops in territorial cultural and social growth, the interaction with the community and the new consumer habits of the younger generations.

“The opening of a new bookstore by Mondadori in the heart of Milan, a city that, according to 93% of citizens, is great at stimulating people to read and that has publishing activities as one of its drivers for economic and social development, is not just a comforting piece of news, it is also a signal of where the Italian book industry is going,” stressed the president of the Italian Publishers Association (AIE), Ricardo Franco Levi. “With sales worth 248.8 million Euro, the first two months of 2023 in the trade market have been essentially in line with the good results of 2022, and confirm that, since the pandemic, Italians have been reading more. That’s not all: in the last two years, Italians have rediscovered bookshops, which have gained on e-commerce sales, and this applies particularly to young people. In this sense, the decision to renew the publishing offer focusing on state-of-the-art display formats is a winning decision,” concluded Mr Levi.

“Today, bookstores are more and more social aggregation drivers, somewhere to enjoy the precious experience of finding a book we didn’t know we were looking for. So booksellers today have an important role in the world of books, one no algorithm can replace,” declared Paolo Ambrosini, the President of ALI-Confcommercio. “What we must all do together, all publishers, booksellers and operators in the world of books, is work so that bookshops are once again the heart of the book project. Among other things, this means looking back at decisions that recently were made with no consideration of booksellers and bookshops,” concluded Mr Ambrosini.

“We are witnessing an epochal change in the function of bookshops. If, for consumers, buying a book is a ritual, booksellers are friends and a bookshop is a special place, then the positioning of bookshops must evolve to create unforgettable experiences,” declared Michela Addis, professor of Economics and Business Management at Roma Tre University. “The new Mondadori Duomo bookstore embodies the principles of experientiality and creates a place in which to meet, interact and connect socially. People who read are happier than people who don’t; culture creates wellbeing; bookshops create value-wellbeing for individuals and society over the whole territory, for all of us,” concluded Ms Addis.

Research on bookshops and booksellers

During the meeting, the results of a survey by Mondadori Retail were shown.

The survey revealed that Italians still enjoy buying books in bookshops, which they consider welcoming cultural hubs, a place where they can spend time pleasantly in silence or in company, discovering amazing stories. Italians expect bookshop staff to be prepared and competent when advising on the best title to choose.
More in detail, according to the survey:

  • For over 9 people out of 10, bookshops are still the preferred place for buying printed books, with a very slight difference between data on Italy as a whole (93.2%) and on Milan in particular (89%). 5.5% of Italians buy from e-commerce websites, which rises to 9.4% among the people of Milan;
  • 9 people out of 10 decide to go to a bookstore because it is a welcoming shop. 68% go to bookshops because they can physically browse through the book pages, while 39.4% go because they can ask for advice. The reference audience here is mainly women with a medium-high level of education and mainly aged between 35 and 64;
  • bookshops are expected to be comfortable and inspiring settings (67.2%), which can meet the needs of the whole family and inspire the love to read in children (11.4%);
  • booksellers and store assistants are expected to be competent (56.1%) but also able to intercept other titles that could be interesting (46.7%);
  • the survey responders also declared they were attracted by events (36.4%);
  • in terms of function, bookshops are considered above all a cultural hub for 47.9% of responders and a pleasant space for 43%; they are still seen as a useful place to shop (31.2%) and socialise (22.2%).
Apre domani la nuova libreria Mondadori Duomo a Milano
Apre domani la nuova libreria Mondadori Duomo a Milano

The new Mondadori Duomo Bookstore

The Mondadori bookstore in Piazza Duomo is a surprising venue that makes people curious and encourages them to explore its over 1,300 m2 area.
There are two entrances, three floors (plus a mezzanine), theme areas and immersive, experiential and sensory spaces that are constantly interacting with the square that is the symbol of Milan, the place where past and future, history and people, creativity and innovation meet and mingle.

The concept of the new bookstore, imagined by Mondadori Retail, was designed and majestically brought to life by the design firm Il Prisma, which imagined the venue and brought back to life some particularly stunning elements of the building the bookstore is located in.

These spaces and symbols embody and speak of the values of the Mondadori Group, which can respond to the most diverse targets, renew itself, involve and meet the demand of the market with its cultural offer.
Palazzo Niemeyer, the historical headquarters of the Mondadori Group in Segrate, has exceptionally lit up its arches with red light, to stress the value and the communicative importance of this flagship store.

Additionally, to stress the tight value-related and historical bond between the Mondadori Group and the city (and Piazza Duomo in particular), an exclusive banner was created for the flagship store that combines and highlights the two iconic elements, Mondadori and the Duomo of Milan.

Two entrances, 12 shop windows

The entrance from Piazza Duomo creates a considerable sense of continuity between indoors and outdoors, between the city and the bookstore. But it is from the side entrance in via Mazzini that the elegant and rhythmical repetition of illuminated arches guides visitors inside and welcomes them with splendid porticoes on the ground floor and mezzanine floor, with openings framed by lesenes and tympana on the bookstore’s noble floor. This double entrance is an invitation to explore, to enjoy an experience and browse a book, check out the most popular titles or the latest trends before moving further into the heart of the flagship store.

Nowhere is the intention of creating a dialogue between inside and outside, between the products, stories, the bookstore and the city, clearer than in the large shop windows that are a distinguishing feature of the flagship store; they are designed to make people feel more involved and rouse their curiosity. After this boundary, visitors step into the Mondadori Store world, with the various display areas, with a perspective that, at a glance, concentrates what will be more accurately expressed inside: books, from new releases to special editions, from children and young people’s books to comics, cookery, the English section, as well as stationery and music. It is real preview of the assortment inside.

Author- or artist-talk experiences will become direct and immersive, in an area designed for this purpose with a dedicated entrance. During book-signing events, the second shop window can be opened, which will allow staggered entry. There is also a shop window with listening stations, to enjoy audiobooks independently.

Three floors of experiences

A large central arena is the heart of the ground floor, with a system of arches and natural light entering through large glass skylights.
This flexible floor is suitable for events that are fully open to the public and provide an all-round experience, creating iconic and deeply involving moments.

The ideal immersive experiential path continues on the first floor, where visitors are welcomed by natural-size, iconic statues of characters from the world of superheroes and manga: here is Just Comics, the format created by Mondadori Retail for comic lovers. The pop, coloured area is a true explosion of styles, shapes, stories, strokes; a kaleidoscope of adventures and emotions, which are perfectly summed up in the installation that starts from the back wall, extends to the roof and lights up the area itself: fragments of back-lit comics invade the space and stick out from the grid.

We are Junior is the area in the basement. Conceived with wooden trees, reading platforms, comfortable seats fitted into the bookshelves, it is an invitation to effectively experience the all-absorbing discovery of books. As soon they enter the circular room, children are transported into a story, in an immersive, soft and welcoming setting.

The Mondolibri area (dedicated to the members of the Mondadori Store bookclub) is also on the basement floor. Here, customers can browse the catalogue and the club’s promotional initiatives in an area that is made particularly welcoming by brightly lit arches.

Apre domani la nuova libreria Mondadori Duomo a Milano

Digital services

The new Mondadori Duomo bookstore is a place to meet and to experience culture and emotions, an achievement that is possible through the skilful use of the latest technologies, which are perfectly integrated into the bookstore to ensure customers enjoy a simple, immediate yet particularly captivating experience.
An important new element is the Immersive Room, which can offer children and young people the space to interact with fantastic worlds. Through mapping techniques and video-experience programmes, in the room in the junior area it will be possible to enter lots of different worlds and go on adventures in the company of different characters.
Digital Signage allows visitors to view in real time all the news from the Mondadori Duomo world on large screens, strategically placed around the bookstore. An easily accessible Wi-Fi network ensures customers have quick, optimal connection. There are other, new digital elements in the new Mondadori Duomo bookstore. The numerous Trovalibro [book finder] touch screens are practical and convenient; they can be found on all floors, to make it easier to explore the products on offer.
Lastly, to speed up the experience as much as possible, automatic tills have been introduced. They are a simple, practical solution that allows customers to buy books rapidly and independently.
When designing the bookstore, great attention was placed on improving energy efficiency and the quality of the indoor areas, on the quality of the light and the air, on the management of water and the type of materials used (with low environmental impact), but also on the quality of the experience of visiting the bookstore. All of the above means the bookstore was able to start the process to obtain LEED certification for Interior Design and Construction (ID+C), aiming for Gold level.

E-reading stations

In recent years, in addition to printed books, people have also turned to digital reading, which allows them to read more and in different stages of their life. The Mondadori Duomo bookstore wants to offer customers the opportunity to try these new digital formats (e-books and audiobooks). In the two Kobo stations provided, customers can look for any book in the Kobo catalogue with its 6 million e-books in all languages (of these, 250,000 are in Italian). To live a truly immersive experience in the world of audiobooks, visitors can try the shop window with a listening station and tablet station, with a demo version of the Kobo app installed on the devices. Customers can sit under the bell-shaped listening station, select an audiobook of their choice (out of half a million available audiobooks, 10,000 are in Italian), download a sample and start listening to their book. There is, of course, a literary staircase, with e-reader stations, where people can sit, browse or pleasantly relax with a book.

The events that will liven up the new Mondadori Duomo bookstore

The schedule of events, presentations and meetings that liven up the new Mondadori Duomo bookstore is very busy from the day it opens.
Below are some unmissable events with major Italian and international artists from the world of literature, music and performing arts.
On 26th March, Enrico Pellegrini is presenting the book Infinito [Infinity] (published by La nave di Teseo); on 28th March, there will be Nothing But the Truth: My Life Beside Pope Benedict XVI, written and presented by Georg Gänswein (published by Piemme), while on 30th March, Licia Troisi will be presenting Poe e la cacciatrice di draghi [Poe and the dragon hunter] (published by Rizzoli). On 4th April, Stefania Andreoli will be signing copies of her book Perfetti o felici [Perfect or happy] (published by Rizzoli), while Paolo Borzacchiello will be presenting La chimica segreta delle interazioni umane [The secret chemistry of human interactions] (published by ROI Edizioni).
On 7th April, Quentin Tarantino will be in the Mondadori Duomo bookstore (at 18.00): the great American film producer will greet the public and sign copies of his new book, Cinema speculation, published by La nave di Teseo and available from 21st March. The event is the result of the collaboration of La Milanesiana, created and directed by Elisabetta Sgarbi, La nave di Teseo and Mondadori Store.
On 14th April, Federico Bertolucci will be presenting and signing copies of his book published by Panini Comics, while, on 15th April, Comics will present the latest issue of Demon Slayer with special guests. Moving on to 17th April, Gaspare Grammatico and Andrea Zalone will present Una questione di equilibrio [A matter of balance] (published by Mondadori).
Younger readers are welcome on 22nd April, when they can meet Dario Moccia and the first Initial D – J Pop Manga volume, and on 9th May, when the new volume by Pera Toons, Tunué, will be presented.
For more details, please go to:

Apre domani la nuova libreria Mondadori Duomo a Milano

The communication campaign

The creative strategy, managed by Absoluta, aimed at choosing an innovative and disruptive language. The claim created to support this initiative is: Mondadori Duomo, The new bookstore where emotions have no limits, where children are free to dream, where comics come to life, where music meets all genres. Mondadori Duomo, emotions without limits.
The planning of the communication campaign included using the 12 large shop windows of the new store to set up posters, station-domination advertising in the Duomo underground station, advertising posters put up in the city areas with the most traffic, a complex strategy on social media, two videos (60” and 20”) released on various media and many analog and digital materials for points of sale.
The opening of the Mondadori Duomo bookstore is supported by the  Municipality of Milan and the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la città metropolitana di Milano [Office for Superintendence, Fine Arts and Landscape of the metropolitan city of Milan], ALI (Italian Booksellers Association) and AIE (Italian Publishers Association).

Partners and sponsors

Other partners of the project include: Absoluta (communication agency), Altavia (shop window concept), Blimp (store tracking), Disi (arena facilities), Guglielmo (Wi-Fi network), Etiqube (Trovalibro book finder), Fandango (Immersive room WAJ), Il Prisma (interior design and experience design), Kobo (e-readers, audiobook listening stations, literary staircase), PWC (coordination of the Mondadori Duomo project), Sailing and Ditronetwork (automatic tills), Sice Previt (general contractor), Tecnovision (for the design and architecture of the digital signage system).
Media partners: IGPDecaux (station-domination advertising in Piazza Duomo underground station); Mediamond (digital screens at the entrance and in the underground stations of Milan).

Apre domani la nuova libreria Mondadori Duomo a Milano
Apre domani la nuova libreria Mondadori Duomo a Milano
Apre domani la nuova libreria Mondadori Duomo a Milano
Apre domani la nuova libreria Mondadori Duomo a Milano
Apre domani la nuova libreria Mondadori Duomo a Milano