Are there Starbucks in Italy? (When did Starbucks open in Italy + more information)

People often wonder how a big coffee company such as Starbucks can cater to the Italians who have such a rich coffee heritage. Are there Starbucks in Italy and have they made any changes to fit the Italian culture?

Yes, Starbucks has set up 11 stores in Italy. Starbucks is globally acknowledged as a coffee giant that meets everybody’s caffeine needs. If you are a coffee lover, you’ve probably heard of how Italians take their coffee seriously and how important it is to their culture. I was fortunate enough to visit Italy a few months ago and I witnessed how the coffee culture in Italy is different from the American experience. All the tales told are true! Everything is exquisite and the Starbucks stores in Italy have met the bar that has been set by the Italians. Read on to get a glimpse of what to expect from the Starbucks stores there in case you’re planning on visiting but first, let’s begin with a little history.

The history of coffee culture in Italy

Coffee was introduced to Europe through the Ottoman empire. In 1570, sacks from the east were brought to Venice, and coffee was initially sold in pharmacies. Thanks to its high cost of production, coffee was considered a luxury item and was only accessible to wealthier classes. However, this fact did not stop the growing success of coffee and after a couple of years, its popularity increased significantly and more coffee shops were built in various places such as Milan, Turin, and Verona. Coffee remained in the grasp of the wealthy and elite for years until coffee plantations took hold in the European colonies leading to increased imports. Eventually, the price of coffee beans dropped making it more accessible to the citizens of Italy. The country was quick to open coffee houses that accommodated everyone regardless of political and social status. People would visit the cafes to share and exchange ideas, and enjoy each other’s company while they appreciated the unique coffee taste. The Italians also ensured that their houses had coffee at all times, a tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation. Important family moments would always be accompanied by a cup of coffee.

When did Starbucks open in Italy?

Are there Starbucks in Italy?

Starbucks launched its first store in Italy on September 7th, 2018 at Piazza Cordusio in Milan. On the first day, people queued for three hours to get their latte from Starbucks. Due to Italy’s historical and cultural ties with coffee, it took a long time before Starbucks finally decided to open a shop there. When Starbucks opened its first store, it aimed to take an Italian approach to business since the company wanted to embrace the unique coffee culture and heritage of the city while also giving the Italians a new experience. Starbucks’ goal was to maintain a very much-needed balance between the new and the familiar.

Where is the biggest Starbucks in Italy?

The biggest Starbucks in Italy is the Milan Roastery and it is located in Piazza Cordusio minutes away from the Duomo which is Milan’s main attraction. The roastery is 25,000 square feet and Starbucks labeled it as ‘the most beautiful Starbucks in the world’. The coffee roasted in the Milan Roastery is distributed to Starbucks locations across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The Milan Roastery provides coffee lovers with the ultimate coffee experience by completely roasting fresh coffee and serving it to the customers right away. The roastery has the main bar, a scooping bar, and a retail area which all serve their different purposes. As mentioned earlier, Starbucks wanted to add an Italian touch to its store in Italy and this is reflected by the roastery counters and floors which have references to Milan. For a country that has such a strong connection to coffee such as Italy, Starbucks needed to bring their A-game and provide a store that would fulfill the Italian’s coffee needs and I must say that Starbucks did an exceptional job!

How is Starbucks different in Italy?

Starbucks took into account how coffee culture is taken seriously in Italy and made a few tweaks that would allow the Italians to be more open to having an American coffee company in their country. For starters, in Italy most people drink espresso coffee therefore offering super-sized drinks prepared with lots of milk would most likely not work in Italy. Therefore, Starbucks in Italy mostly focuses on local market preferences like espresso, and drinks like Frappuccino are not on the menu. The Milan Roastery also has a bakery which Princi, an Italian restaurant had a hand in its success. On top of premium coffee, customers have been given the chance to enjoy their coffee with freshly baked quality food prepared by the artisans in Princi. The Milan Roastery offers hand-crafted ice cream that is served with an espresso shot, a feature that is exclusive to this roastery. The coffee prices in Starbucks in Italy are also lower so the Italians get to enjoy the cheap coffee rates.

FAQ Section

Where is the first Starbucks in Italy?

The first Starbucks in Italy was in Milan.

How many Starbucks stores are in Italy?

There are 11 Starbucks stores in Italy.

Did Starbucks open in Rome?

Yes, Starbucks opened in Rome at the Castel Romano shopping mall.

Where is the busiest Starbucks in Italy?

The biggest Starbucks in Italy is in Piazza Cordusio, Milan.

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