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Get Ready Italy, Starbucks Can't Be Far Behind


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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Get Ready Italy, Starbucks Can't Be Far Behind

(Garance and her "to go espresso" in Florence)

I was more than a little surprised during my last trip to Italy to see espresso "to go".

The French fell to Starbucks a few years ago and they have never looked back. I have always heard the excuse that Italian coffee culture is so strong that they would never offer coffee "to go" but these new shops are the beginning of the end for that dream.

The flip side of the debate is that coffee is different from espresso, just like linguine is different from spaghetti. I would think the two could coexist.

UPDATE- already in the comments, people are commenting that one should sit and casually enjoy a coffee. However, in Italy, no one sits to have an espresso, they stand at the bar. I think people are confusing the French coffee experience with the reality of Italian coffee culture.

This is a great little cafe down the street from the hotel we stay at in Milan.

They are trying to offer a slice of American coffee culture to Italians but without serving actual American coffee. It's a fun idea but the tiny espresso cups only last about one city block before it's empty.

So, how do we feel about Starbucks in Italy?

Comments on "Get Ready Italy, Starbucks Can't Be Far Behind"


Blogger ATTITUDEINABUNDANCE said ... (11:23 AM) : 

Starbucks anywhere is fine with me!

Now following you on twitter :) x


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:25 AM) : 

Stop the spread of Starbucks, traditional coffee shops are where it's at!


Anonymous Raiña said ... (11:26 AM) : 

I wouldn´t like it!!! Spain and France fell...but Italy...hope not!

Although I must say that I love Starbuck´s coffe (since I´m not truly fan of coffe, that´s the point!)


Anonymous the style crusader said ... (11:27 AM) : 

this is a fun post. quite funky that it's not street style... or style at all. Sweden, where I often visit, has no Starbucks and it is quite special. It's not to go somewhere that doesn't have it - although - there are plenty of McDonalds... hmmm. I like how they seem to be incorporating the idea without having it starbucks branded. that seems fine to me. p.s. the pastries in the last shot behind the cup look ever so tasty. even blurry. xx


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:28 AM) : 

I am patiently waiting for a Starbucks to make its appearance in Roma... very patiently... I have been waiting for decades now.
One would think that at least something that has a resemblance of a Starbucks would open even if only to please American turists, right? (wink,wink) but no, nothing.
My husband keeps suggesting me to open a franchise myself,instead of moaning.
Would you visit Roma more often if I offered you the very first Starbucks in Italy?!


Blogger Lorenzo said ... (11:29 AM) : 

I'm Italian and always thought that Italian coffee shops are too much back in the past by not offering even simple "international" coffee. I don't think you'll be able to get a Caramel Cappucino that easily in Italy, especially in the small towns.

A Starbucks might be even successful in Milan, Rome, Florence, etc... because of the tourists of for those italians that want Caramel Cappuccino, Frappucino or whatever else... Italian baristas should adapt.


Blogger Taylor said ... (11:29 AM) : 

As an American, I think our culture prizes to-go cuisine, which is something I never truly noticed until I went to Europe. Italy's charm comes from savoring your food, not rushing through it. Also there is a lot less trash in Italy, I noticed, which is always a better thing (not only for appearance but the environment). I think that if Italy succumbed to Starbucks it would make the world a little less rounded, and more flat - let Italy be! It has always been exquisite and well-known for its espresso, Starbucks doesn't need to butt in.


Blogger Brian said ... (11:30 AM) : 

Starbucks? In my Santa Maria Novella? It's more likely than you think.


Blogger Leonidas said ... (11:31 AM) : 

it's kind of sad. italian coffee culture is so stable, until now at least. so many years


Blogger Zaczynam Odchudzanie said ... (11:31 AM) : 

Bianco Latte is my favourite coffe in Milano!

I discovered it this summer and I'll never forget this special taste of coffee and ice-cream.


Blogger Café Naïveté said ... (11:32 AM) : 

I'm not italian but I live in Rome already for some years and I have finally started to understand the "andiamo-al-bar-per-un-cafè" culture. It is as much about the coffe as it is about the whole ritual of going into that same bar every morning / afternoon, doing some chitchat with the barman and catching up with some gossip with other bar-friends. You just can't take it away from them. Italians just love their food, their traditions and they always have time for a coffe. Though it is true that a coffee shop like that is very useful in cities of fast movement like Milan and Torino and so on.. but it will never get popular in South-Italy. Strange and yet it's so. (funny how different the Sud and Nord are, hah?) :)
Sun from Rome,


Blogger Caroline Meredith said ... (11:32 AM) : 

The 'italian coffee culture is so strong blah blah' debate is old and stale. Just see how many italian people you find in any starbucks abroad. It's always full of italians. Of course we love our espresso and our bars, but I think they could really coexist. Come on... we also have a strong culinary culture, but McDonalds and Burger King are everywhere. Not to mention the tourists. Put a starbucks in Rome, it could live on tourists only.


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:32 AM) : 

I'm sorry but next time you have a Starbucks coffee stop for a moment and actually taste the coffee....It's not good. I do like the idea of coffee "to go" but why can't good coffee be portable?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:33 AM) : 

Funny thing is. The idea for Starbucks was inspired by a trip to Milan. The founder, Howard Shultz, tried to sell his bosses on the idea of European style coffee bars over here. They thought it was a silly idea. What comes around goes around. And so it goes.


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:34 AM) : 

first of all, i've been in same place "blanco-latte" in milan ... funny coincidence !!!!

on the other hand, i read about why there is not Starbucks in Italy, and the fact is what "Starbucks is a copy" of italian cafes, so ... from a business point of view, is worthless run any starbucks business in Italy, not even for visitors or tourist.

I cant remember right now whats the name of the book was, but i think was something like "The Starbucks model" or something like that, and that book talks about Howard Shultz


Blogger Alessandra said ... (11:35 AM) : 

if it's meant to be, it will be.
we'll still drink our coffee Italian style, too so basically a win-win situation.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:36 AM) : 



Blogger Celso Soares said ... (11:36 AM) : 

The reason why big cups of espresso-to-go hasn't been so "hot" (excuse the pun) in southern european countries is mostly because of the high temperatures for most of the year.

That's why you get those small but strong coffee shots. It will give you the shakes but won't make you sweat. (conversely, ice-cream always seems to taste better in Italy because of the heat)

Having said that, I think a mix of both concepts might work; something like Monmouth in London:


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:36 AM) : 

Starbucks in Italy? It would be like Mussolini falling for Hitler all over again...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:36 AM) : 

Why not? Sturbucks is not only coffee but muffins, juices and a nice, clean place to stay where if you use your laptop nobody's looking at you like you're some kind of freak : )



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:40 AM) : 


It is sad to see it! The italians are the last to be touched by the corporate powers to be...
When I was in Seville, I saw a Starbucks and quicly made a bee line to a local cafe for my morning fix!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:40 AM) : 


It is sad to see it! The italians are the last to be touched by the corporate powers to be...
When I was in Seville, I saw a Starbucks and quicly made a bee line to a local cafe for my morning fix!


Blogger MHAV said ... (11:41 AM) : 

Oh no no no, I'm italian, and even though I LOVE going to starbucks when I'm abroad, I really don't want to see it open in Italy...what's the point? Italians know how to make real coffee, and you drink it so fast anyways it's virtually 'to go', why spoil it?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:42 AM) : 

If you are in such a hurry that you don't find the time to fully enjoy a cup of coffee, you've totally misunderstood the concept of a coffee.

You're supposed to get such a good cup of coffee, what ever kind, that you can forget about the outer world for a moment or two. There are little white caffeine pills if it's the kick you're after....


Anonymous michela said ... (11:43 AM) : 

No, no and no!
I love to live in a "Starbucks-free" country, go to the bar and drink my espresso.

For sure, if Starbucks will open in Italy, it will have a lot of success, because we like traditions of other countries. In the same way that other countries love italian traditions.


Blogger Greg said ... (11:44 AM) : 

I agree Starbucks has bastardized the coffee experience, but when I see respected, trend-setting cafes going in the direction of the traditional "stand only" cafe, it gives me hope that the reach of the green monster is receding.


Anonymous kareyann said ... (11:46 AM) : 

Sitting and sipping your espresso is part of the culture, lets not kill it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:47 AM) : 

espresso to go is just sinful, anyone in such a hurry should consider other sources for uppers.

david leibovitz on french coffee: "I got quoted in a French newspaper saying the coffee was… undrinkable. It really is. The French don't drink coffee for flavor. They drink it because it's caffeinated and it's something to do while you're passing the time."


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:47 AM) : 

While I fear that Starbucks will eventually take over the "to go" coffee trend, I just hope that people will never lose that urge to relax at a cafe' with an espresso whenever they possibly can. It's the way it was meant to be.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:47 AM) : 

I was saddened to see that most of the garbage on the streets in Paris was litter from American chain fast food restaurants...


Blogger dani@callitbeauty said ... (11:47 AM) : 

i prefer the idea of having proper café's in european countries. although i do drink starbucks, it seems a bit like having a mcdonalds in a lovely street corner. to me, it doesn't "fit" with the architecture of european countries.


Blogger FASHION SNAG said ... (11:47 AM) : 

I like traditional coffee shops and try to go to places besides Starbucks.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:48 AM) : 

I'm afraid so.... for people like you...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:48 AM) : 

Yes, it's true, the Starbucks in my London neighborhood is always overrun with Italians ordering 6 white mocha frappuccinos and taking their sweet time to dither over the pastry selection...

If Italians offered coffee to go or some enterprising Italian soul established an "authentic" to-go coffee shop chain in Italy they could certainly find a way to pre-empt Starbucks.

BTW I have also lived in Brussels and the only Starbucks allowed there are in the airports... you can hardly get a coffee to go anywhere in the city however as Belgians don't believe in convenience.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:52 AM) : 

Starbucks has terrible coffee. It always tastes burnt. I vote no for the spread of Starbucks in Italy.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:52 AM) : 

Starbuck no!
Starbuck no!


Anonymous Andrea said ... (11:53 AM) : 

I've been waiting for Starbucks in Italy for years, too. And since there is no true Italian that can give up his espresso, there is also no danger that the their opening in Italy could fail: there is plenty of tourist and always more Italian people appreciate Starbucks product when abroad. Come on, it was the same when McDonald arrived... So, I want Tall Americano and Frappuccino here so badly! :)


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:56 AM) : 

Please. Starbucks tries to be comfy, cozy and accommodating. Their staff is always friendly and the free wifi is wonderful, but what is wrong with maintaining family-owned cafes? Or paces that sell coffee served the local way?

When I travel, I like to see difference.


Blogger Sootjeelina said ... (11:56 AM) : 

I love coffee, especially ice-coffee.
Especially from starbucks, but unfortunately we don's have any in Rotterdam so I always go to a coffee-bar across my school and I pretend it's starbucks.
Love the pics!

xoxo Sootjeelina <3


Anonymous xris said ... (11:57 AM) : 

Starbucks coffee is made of the worst beans in the world. They burn it to a crisp because they buy the crap. It is just bad coffee, made by people with no other mission but to make money. They may have started well, but they have lost sight of what makes for a real cup.

Thankfully, they have had to close down many of their shops overseas. May this trend continue and good, cultured coffee stay!


Anonymous Natasha said ... (11:58 AM) : 

i absolutely love starbucks and spend a ton of money there each month...

but this summer i was lucky enough to go to Naples in Italy where initially i did find it strange that i coudln't get a coffee to go-however over my stay, i found it so enjoyable actually sitting down, taking the time to drink caffeinated things. My holiday made me realise that in London and other cities everyone is on the go 24/7, sometimes it's better just to sit and take things in :) i think having no Starbucks keeps the relaxed culture


Blogger the letters i wish i'd written... said ... (11:58 AM) : 

Stay strong Italy, if you're going to have a coffee, take the time to sit down and savour it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:59 AM) : 

We don't need Starbucks in Italy.
Italians go to Starbucks abroad because they think it's soooo cool, that's it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:01 PM) : 

Where in Florence????


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:02 PM) : 

We have the same coffee culture in Brazil. Going to a bar to get a small cup of expresso is part of the daily routine of most workers. With that being said, I think Starbucks and traditional bars can coexist peacefully within this type of culture. I just don't think it would attract the same type of customer. By the way, Starbucks expresso tastes bad!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:06 PM) : 

As we say in Seattle "Friends don't let friends go to Starbucks" Near my Apt a slick new "independent" coffee shop opened, funky but up scale, turned out it was a Starbucks, incognito. I long for the old days in Seattle when there was the 1st and only Starbucks in the Pike Place Market and they weren't throwing salmon everywhere. You got your latte and then went next door for a crumpet with gooseberry jam.


Anonymous Alessandro said ... (12:07 PM) : 

I am Italian and I don't buy coffee at Starbucks in the USA or Canada, let alone in Italy. Italian cars don't even come with cupholders - not even the luxury models. Coffee in Italy is social, you drink it in the bar and better still you enjoy a cornetto (croissant) with it. That same bar where you bought your morning espresso will serve you an alcoholic aperitif before lunch and a drink at night. I would dare Starbucks to try entering the Italian market...mind you they may finally learn how to make a proper ice coffee, a proper hot chocolate and even a proper espressso. I make a better espresso with my $20 moka at home than Starbucks does.


Blogger Karin said ... (12:07 PM) : 

I love Caffè Nero in London much better than Starbucks! They should export !


Blogger Unknown said ... (12:10 PM) : 

well I kind think it's too bad, I loved how Italian people didn't need no stinking paper cups, they are too fancy for that, just a quick espresso at the bar and I'm on my way...
but I do like Starbucks, elsewhere.


Anonymous Rich said ... (12:10 PM) : 

When in Italy I prefer to "belly up to the bar." and say "un café." It really only takes a few draws on the cup to drink that wonderful syrupy brew why ruin it with cardboard.

BTW I haven't found any cafe (others call it expresso, it's not the same) to compare with the this fine Italian brew. Anywhere else it is just a watered-down attempt at imitation.


Blogger muranogirl said ... (12:11 PM) : 

Is nothing sacred? I hated seeing Starbucks in Barcelona. Italy has a lovely coffee culture. Starbucks KEEP OUT!


Anonymous gracyflair said ... (12:13 PM) : 

Italians know better than anybody else how to make a great coffee. Starbucks definitely welcome!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:13 PM) : 

No, cazzo, no. Sartorialist, I love you, but this disingenuous question shows a complete lack of cultural sensibility. One would think you'd never spent a second in Italy. Starbucks=Pizza Hut= pale imitations for which we have no need.


Blogger Bell said ... (12:13 PM) : 

For me the best cafe is the one made with original Italian machines, is a cafe dense, creamy and strong. Wonderful!


Anonymous eric @ my First Garage said ... (12:14 PM) : 

What troubles me is the paper, plastic, and other garbage. We don't need to generate more waste. Sure you can recycle the cups, but do you?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:14 PM) : 

Starbucks beans are over-roasted to give them a longer shelf life. If there was a place where people enjoy sipping espresso (not necessarily lattes & mochas, like in the states) Italy would be that place. I couldn't picture any Italian actually enjoying a cup of burnt to hell espresso from starby's.


Blogger Unknown said ... (12:17 PM) : 

I studied abroad in Rome last semester. At the beginning of my stay, I was nostalgic for Starbucks. Yet, after spending 4 months drinking delicious espresso from local cafés, I realized Americans were compromising taste for quick, convenient coffee. Starbucks does not belong in Italia, the capital of sultry espresso. It doesn't fit the Italian lifestyle.


Blogger crowsfeet said ... (12:18 PM) : 

Coke and McDonald's are global, sad as that makes me. It is denial to think Starbucks will be any different. *sigh*


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:25 PM) : 

I lived in Italy from 2006-2007 and my local fornaio would give you coffee to go, so I don't think it's anything new.

I'm against Starbucks, period, but one of my Italian friends loves it. He doesn't say that loudly, though, when we're out and about in Florence ;)


Blogger Unknown said ... (12:26 PM) : 

I avoid Starbucks. If Italy does cafes and espresso better than anyone, why should Starbucks even bother, and why would anyone want to go to Starbucks in Italy. Half the joy of traveling is finding local eateries.


Blogger Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said ... (12:27 PM) : 

Oh Scott, this is such a tricky question! I must admit that when I visited Italy I kind of missed having something like Starbucks nearby, but the feeling of missing it wasn't more than the feeling of respect for Italian coffee culture I had... I'm thinking the two definately need to find a way to co-exist, because it would hurt to see the traditional coffee culture die.


Anonymous viviana musumeci said ... (12:29 PM) : 

Well believe me, that's not the only one. There are other "caffé" where you can take coffee and leave. For example I live in Lecco on Como Lake - wonderful town. If you come and take some photos please tell me. It's near Milan - and there is one which is specialized in take away coffee, juices and vegetables and fruit centrifuges. But it's in our nature and culture to take coffee and whatever sat at a table. This give that chance to talk and to relax. So welcome to Starbucks - I can drink it when I rush -.


Blogger Alexandra said ... (12:31 PM) : 

I'd want to say that based off of Italian's past coffee culture, I would hope the Starbucks phenomenon doesn't creep in, but I say that as I'm sipping a Starbucks cup.

I think that as long as traditional cafes are not kicked to the curb to make room for new shops, then it's fine....and, like anywhere else, if one were to want a proper coffee experience, they could seek it out and elect not to go to a Starbucks.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:32 PM) : 

In Italy, on the Autostrada, one person serves 300 people espresso in three minutes. At the typical Starbucks it takes four pierced, tatted people ten minutes to make one espresso. The main resistence is that Italians do not drink cappucinno past eght in the morning and have an aversion to milk in their coffee after breakfast. They will not drink all that vanilla frappe low fat chocolate shaken not stirred bs that Americans drink in place of gelato because I talians are not afraid of real gelato. I suppose in Florence where most of the people on the street are Americans it could work, but in real Italy....never! I could not, not point out that in the photo post yesterday the sign for the pool was written in English, so goes Tuscany a playground for Americans and Russians. I love Americans and American culture but in Italy I would prefer Italian culture.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:34 PM) : 

I'm very surprised that Starbucks is not in italy yet. I'm from Seville (Spain) and there are tons of them there which I'm horrified about. I live in NY and when I go to Seville, I like to go back to my town not to a mini-version of something I can find in the US. However,in Spain, the Starbucks are mostly used by tourist who are not aware of the strong culture of coffee in the morning, in the same bar, day after day, year after year. If starbucks makes it to Italy, I'd be surprised if it catches up w/italians. I hope not, it would be so sad to lose that strong coffee culture and I dont' even liek coffe, just the culture of it :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:35 PM) : 

noooooooooooooooooo! i'm from Rome and i don't wanna drink 1 l of coffee and water, i want my little coffe, strong and black! and at the bar, not in metro! italy is too relaxing for starbucks!



Anonymous Mage Santos said ... (12:35 PM) : 

No please! Starbucks in Italy is like a heresy.
We have the best espresso in the word, I mean we're the espresso, we take it in the bar, in nice porcelain cups....
How said Jessica, Starbucks doesn't fit the Italian lifestyle.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:36 PM) : 

My trip to Italy was definitely the highlight of my young life thus far. I can't help but mutter "It's just not the same..." every time I walk into a coffee shop here in Boston. The drink is good, but I think it's the atmosphere that's missing.

That said, I think the 'gogogo' of American coffee tradition will be adopted elsewhere, Italy included, far easier than the reverse.


Blogger Erin :: EAT.PRAY.MOVE Yoga said ... (12:37 PM) : 

I hope Starbucks stays out...I like Starbucks and enjoy it when I'm in the States, but I go back and forth from here and Italy and the unique coffee culture in Italy is one of the things I look most forward to.


Blogger Raquel M.B.G. said ... (12:37 PM) : 

It's globalization, my dear...

Or, If we prefer, It's the popular marketing maxim: "Think Global, Act Local"



Blogger Unknown said ... (12:38 PM) : 

I am a shameless starbucks addict, so the point that I bulk buy iced lattes and keep them in my fridge when I am in the countryside would otherwise have a 20 minute drive to get my fix. However, when I was working in Paris I did not have one starbucks as when there is truly delicious coffee on offer and old-school brasseries and cafe's every other shop it just seemed plain wrong to choose some heinous American import over the real deal. Now France is good, but Italy is THE king of coffee and frankly I think having starbucks there would be a bit wrong. However, any true coffee lover would never, ever choose a mocha-frappa-whipped-cream-chino over the real deal so maybe italian starbucks will simply serve to separate the real caffeine connessoires from the pretenders..? X


Blogger maskitit said ... (12:39 PM) : 

no to Starbucks. no to to-go coffee or espresso. like you wrote, it only lasts for a few sips, so why waste a disposable cup?!


Blogger filoderba said ... (12:40 PM) : 

I'm italian. In the States I go to Starbucks because the coffee is almost ok and they sell "small" coffees, not these huge cup full of coffee (in diners the waiters just can't possibly understand that you could want an espresso amount of coffee if it's the same price...). Just thinking about it and my stomach ache.
I suppose that tourists can adapt to local habits. Actually there's no need of a starbucks anywere outside the US.


Anonymous James Taylor said ... (12:43 PM) : 

A Starbucks in Italy would become patronized mainly by tourists who can't survive without their pumpkin chai latte and Italian ragazzini enjoying the novelty of some Americana. Italians like to "americanizzare" their own culture, particularly in the cities, in an attempt to appeal to a younger, global crowd. But Italy's culture is so deeply ingrained, and so uniformly adhered to by Italians, that such efforts and the encroachment of American brands does not sway them into living differently. The espresso-to-go concept is ludicrous for the precise reason you point out: Italians drink their coffee quickly at the bar, rendering a paper to-go cup utterly pointless.


Anonymous Joe said ... (12:43 PM) : 

The first time I went to Europe, I came back depressed because there was no place near my home to sit down and have a coffee, read, etc. Then Starbucks opened everywhere, and now I can always take some time out, no matter where I am. This I appreciate. And though I would much rather frequent the independent coffee shops, frankly many of them are not that welcoming. There is nothing that Starbucks has over the independents. The small places could easily compete with the giant--if they provided a nicer environment and served better coffee. I imagine it will be the same in France and Italy. (Most cafes and brasseries in France are owned by conglomerates, btw.)


Blogger Sandy Cowell said ... (12:43 PM) : 

This reminds me of Paulie Walnuts, railing against the theft of Italian Culture.

Are we all so addicted that we can't just stop and take a few minutes to sip and consciously enjoy a good coffee?

I'm always sad to see the ubiquitous Starbucks cup, clutched like an adult security blanket, in the hand that isn't holding a blackberry.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:44 PM) : 

Sooo happy to read people from other country trying to "protect" italian coffee culture!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:46 PM) : 

Starbucks (also McDonalds etc.) and their coffee to go cups are without any doubt bad for the environment, so there's no alternative to quit drinking coffee in this way due to the clima change and the worldwide pollution.
But I also think that espresso and coffee taste better out of a porcelain mug. So it's a question about responsability for our nature and taste at the same time.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:54 PM) : 

Expresso to go in Italy!!!!!!!!!!
no, no and no!!!


Anonymous Runway Hippie said ... (12:56 PM) : 

No No No! I am so sick of America ruining beautiful cultures.

When I lived in Spain so many of my American friends would go to Starbucks for coffee and I was utterly appalled. I could not understand how someone could be in one of the most beautiful countries with some of the most delicious coffee and STILL go to Starbucks and order their "Grande Too Much Sugar Extra Whipped Cream BLAHBLAHBLAH".

I pray that Starbucks does not take over the beautiful Italian cafés. It would be such a tragedy.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:56 PM) : 

I am also shocked you posted this Sartorialist, Starbucks is not cool, it would sadden me to see it in Italy, think of the saying when in Rome ...

I was gutted when I went to a beach in Thailand and all I saw was McDonalds, Starbucks etc, that wasn't why I went there, I feel this would be the same kind of thing, what's wrong with going local?


Blogger Bowl of Soul Gal said ... (12:56 PM) : 

As someone who has spent a lot of time in Italy, I can tell you that most Italians I know love visiting Starbucks when in the States, however, the entire philosophy of "our coffee" in a to-go cup goes against most Italians' beliefs about daily espresso intake - so my vote is stick with Italian tradition and "just say NO!" to Starbucks.


Blogger Kristy said ... (12:57 PM) : 

Oh no! Starbucks coffee isn't good to begin with, so the thought of Starbucks invading Italy makes me sad. I have no issues with coffee-to-go on principle; I really don't think it will "destroy" the Italian coffee culture. I just don't understand why you'd choose Starbucks over Italian coffee when Italian coffee (for the most part) is soooo much better.


Anonymous Samantha said ... (12:59 PM) : 

I like the idea of to-go coffee in Italy, or anywhere for that matter! People are getting busier and busier, and if the same delicious cup of coffee can be enjoyed while on the go, so much the better


Anonymous gala said ... (1:01 PM) : 

Could you picture all the handsome men you take photographs of sipping a tall latte while sitting in a Starbuck's? Mmmm, no. I rather see them standing at a bar. Much classier.
As an italian, I still enjoy Starbuck's while abroad, though. But I could never ever feel at home as I do in a traditional bar, and no sofa or free wifi will ever be more appealing than my quick espresso, to me. :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:02 PM) : 

NO! Please no! Leave one LAST, unique coffee culture alone, Starbucks!


Blogger Em-Jae said ... (1:04 PM) : 

Love the idea of espresso to go... Not so much via Starbucks. When did Starbucks become *good* coffee?

Now Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, that would be another story...


Anonymous lano said ... (1:07 PM) : 

Starbucks is for coffee, what McDonald's is for hamburgers. International, standardized junk. Wherever you go, you know what you get. I'm glad we in Sweden haven't fell for it yet.


Anonymous David from Holland said ... (1:09 PM) : 

Everytime we enter Italy on the autostrada, we stop at any petrol station or diner, just for a cup of espresso (which, to Italians, is called coffee) or a cappuccino. It doesn't really matter where you stop, at ANY place instanly it tastes better than outside Italy, and a LOT better than Starbucks. I have never liked coffee anywhere in the States or France much, especially in these fast food franchises. They need much water, or milk, or sugar, or syrup or whatever, just to hide the taste of the actual coffee...
So, Starbucks in Italy? Maybe for (American) tourists!

PS why do you drink coffee while walking?


Anonymous Lisa said ... (1:10 PM) : 

So far, Starbucks has been smart enough to stay out of Italy. Or maybe it's the other way around--- Italians have been smart enough to resist Starbucks. Sure hope it stays that way!!!


Anonymous Isobel Saoirse said ... (1:16 PM) : 

I personally think starbucks do have good "fancy-coffee" but if I should enjoy a nice proper cappuccino I would probably buy it of a nice small coffee shop. I do hope the Italians will keep the good coffee traditions even if starbucks arrives there.


Blogger x deb said ... (1:16 PM) : 

Great pics !


Anonymous Maria Cristina said ... (1:18 PM) : 

to Caroline Meredith said ... (11:32 AM) :
The 'italian coffee culture is so strong blah blah' debate is old and stale. Just see how many italian people you find in any starbucks abroad.

MAYBE cause when you are abroad you can't find a DECENT italian coffee!!!! And so you thik oK let's try it, it can't be worse than the local one! I hate french coffee and when I'm in Paris I always go to Starbucks.

Cmon guys! Tell me you're joking!!! some flavour of starbucks coffee aren't so bad but it is a completely different thing, it is not comparable to the one I drink in my own little town or pretty much everywhere in Italy!! Even the one I make at home with my old mokona bialetti is 10.000 better!!

And we do sit and have an espresso. Maybe you have visited some bigger cities where the people are superbusy but I live in Venezia and I'm from Mantova and we do sit and have coffee A LOT... I couldn't even imagine a day without it!!!


Anonymous Maja said ... (1:18 PM) : 

That is a difficult question. I'm half Italian but living in Switzerland and I actually only drink Italian Coffee at home (Bialetti-Machines ftw). On the other side I love going to Starbucks and I'm happy that there are three of it in Lucerne. But in Italy? I don't know. I think it's not necessary, that's the point. It just wouldn't fit the Italian lifestyle.


Anonymous HW90 said ... (1:21 PM) : 

No Starbucks in Italy! But, I'm all for the to go cups. Love Bianco Latte! We went everyday/night when we stayed at the Principe. My wife is going to be mad she didn't know about the to go cups when we were there.


Blogger Marie said ... (1:21 PM) : 

As long as the coffee stays good. they do not need American coffee, which is either Charbucks or dishwater. With rare exceptions inbetween.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:22 PM) : 

usually,in italy we drink coffee standing at the bar just in the morning before going to work/school or when we are in a hurry.
but the are some moments, like late in the morning or in the early afternoon, when you just sit in a bar (better outside if the weather is good) for hours just drinking a coffee with friends or relatives and chatting.
i think that shops like starbucks will make a success just with young people, who are fascinated of the american culture, not with who likes the true italian coffee.
S. from milan


Anonymous gerome said ... (1:24 PM) : 

"Anonymous Lisa said...
So far, Starbucks has been smart enough to stay out of Italy. Or maybe it's the other way around--- Italians have been smart enough to resist Starbucks. Sure hope it stays that way!!! - 1:10 PM"

You said it all! (:
I used to sit and have an espesso when I lived in Fiorenze... but it was a good ten years ago. Hope they will manage to keep Starbucks away thoug


Anonymous sol said ... (1:27 PM) : 

Where is the beauty of traveling abroad if you are hoping to find the same things you have at home?

I lived in Italy for 15 years (Florence & Milan) and would be devastated to find a Starbuck on my next visit over there.

The Italian espresso is not about sitting down and have some time off, it's about a boost of energy to keep it going.

When Italians want to relax, they sit down for hours to drink good wine and eat delicious food and talk talk talk...

Not to mention that when they unplugged they do it for real, a whole month off working that tan!

Oh Lord how do I miss La Dolce Vita!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:28 PM) : 

I have to admit that I love Starbucks but traditional cafes are so much better! :)


Blogger Jessica said ... (1:29 PM) : 

I'm glad you clarified the Italian and French difference in coffee, I think a lot of Americans stereotype the French way of coffee as ALL European ways of coffee.

I will say I could have used an Iced Coffee to save my life when I was Italy this summer! It was so incredibly hot, and all around me was hot coffee, I thought I would die!


Anonymous Alison Nicole said ... (1:39 PM) : 

Living in Florence for 6 months, I enjoyed an espresso, standing at the bar of a café in Piazza Della Republica, everyday. My favorite part of this ritual was making friendly
eyes and small talk with the stunning Italian men that were usually 40 years my senior. There is something so old-world and romantic about Italian coffee culture, and it is something that I hope to take part in again and again on my return trips to the beautiful country of Italia. Please Starbucks, stay away!


Blogger Explendid said ... (1:39 PM) : 

Sure! Maybe italians will win Starbucks, but that's pretty difficult!

Love the information


Blogger Unknown said ... (1:40 PM) : 

Non mi piace. Se la gente non ha più due minuti per il cafè... The world is a sad place.

For Starbucks to earn their place in Italy, they need to learn the correct definition of their drink names. A Starbucks employee recently told me that they were taught that a "macchiato" means "layered." Macchiato means "spotted", and in Italy, a "spotted" espresso is JUST that: an espresso with a spot of milk foam sitting on top.


Anonymous Retail London Jobs said ... (1:41 PM) : 

make mine a caffee late to drink in, per favore!


Anonymous Juliette said ... (1:41 PM) : 

I love it ! Beautiful pictures :)


Anonymous Giorgio said ... (1:42 PM) : 

I tasted Starbucks coffee only once: in London... YUK awful!
Please LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!!
The rotten smell of deep fried oil that come out of the McDonald I have near home is enough!!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:42 PM) : 

Interesting NYTimes article today (at least online). They mention certain NY coffee bars are actually turning to old Italian layout and design. How nice if all coffee places did that....(le sigh)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:43 PM) : 

Reading many of these comments where people are eagerly awaiting a Starbucks in their area as well as loving Starbucks is strange because in North America Starbucks is definitely on the decline with many stores closing. A growing number of people on this side of the world have begun to realize just how bad the coffee and diet of coffee served at Starbucks is - did you know they chemically ADD caffeine to their beans, making a cup of Starbucks have more than 10x the caffeine of a regular coffee? Some people might like that but how much more unnatural can you get? Not to mention the huge environmental impact of to-go cups, sleeves, lids, etc. I am definitely happy to see people switching away from Starbucksian culture to a more European way of enjoying their coffee and think it's sad to see it invading traditional Italy.


Blogger BrandInkDesign said ... (1:44 PM) : 

I was in Italy 10 years ago, coffee "to go" was available, i think it has been for a long time, its just Italians would make the choice of taking the time to enjoy it.
Italy is all about small strong espresso, or a breakfast cappuccino wile men in perfectly business men in perfectly tailored suits wizz by on vespas.
France is all about a Cafetière on your table, and sitting for a long time, taking in your surroundings while eating macaroons from Baillardran.
Starbucks is a machine, a factory, like McDonalds or something. But have their place in airports, preferably around christmas, constantly playing jingle bell rock while shrill voices shout "SKIMMED DECAF VENTI BLAH BLAH BLAH WITH CREAM" throwing said combination at a wet businessman in a poorly tailored travel suit, wet from the rain.


Anonymous joe t said ... (1:44 PM) : 

ok,, forget about starbucks,,, who makes the leather bracelet that Garance is wearing,,,, great looking


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:47 PM) : 

I sit and drink espresso and I'm Italian, and all the people I know do that every day. Maybe we are French in disguise and we don't even know that! ahah


Blogger Unknown said ... (1:57 PM) : 

I hope Starbucks never goes to Italy!
I lived in Roma and I used to love going to my neighborhood bar for my daily espresso, the "zip sip"! I wish Italian coffee culture would come to America, not the other way around. They know what they are doing, and it is wonderful just the way it is...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:04 PM) : in Florence and from Seattle. Actually, never liked Starbucks. Burnt. Italians do it much better.


Blogger Radarman said ... (2:07 PM) : 

The Italians will sort it out. A much more serious problem is the American willingness to pay for espresso served in a twelve ounce cardboard cup. The North American Starbucks installations are some of the few places that can be counted on to have porcelain espresso cups under the counter.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:10 PM) : 

Italians will generally down an espresso in about 30 seconds. The only reason why I could see them going for "to-go" coffee would be because they see Americans - and now everyone else - doing it. (I remember my shock at finding a Starbucks within the Forbidden City in Beijing). Which is to say it would have to start in the north and spread south.

When Italians hang around a cafe (after having consumed their beverage) it's mostly to converse with the bartender and other customers - not exactly typical of the rushed, anonymous Starbucks atmosphere (which, granted, is part of its appeal).

Let me say that I do personally drink Starbucks espresso when outside of Italy, simply because in many places (such as France) people simply don't drink proper espresso, even when they may believe that they do. That said, a standard espresso in Italy wins hands down over a Starbucks-imitation, and it's also cheaper; lets hope Italians continue to recognize this, unlike how they seem to have failed to realize that just about any Italian food establishment beats an American fast-food chain 100 times over. (And most Americans would surely be the first to agree).

It now occurs to me that I may have underestimated the appeal of sugary Starbucks dessert-drinks however, perhaps because I never order them myself. If Starbucks has one thing to offer the Italian market, it would be the frappuccino.


Anonymous brandnewblue said ... (2:12 PM) : 

i think the less disposable cups in the world the better. why would you need to take espresso to gg anyways??


Anonymous Yannick said ... (2:18 PM) : 

"I think people are confusing the French coffee experience with the reality of Italian coffee culture"
I think we aren't. I'm French and I have been living in rome for 6 years now and I sit "al bar" as I did in my hometown's bistrot! I spend in there my lunch break aswell and I eat gelato and drink caffè loungo sitting down. I have my own bar-friends (as Café Naïveté said) with whom I share the table and chat for about half an hour everyday! (; I'm in love with the extremely relaxed italian way of life... does it show? Starbuks won't have me!


Anonymous Mike M said ... (2:19 PM) : 

I'm an Italian-American living in Rome and this question comes up on an almost daily basis with my Italian friends. Personally I think it's a little hypocritical for the other Americans on here to preach an "it's okay for us but not for you" attitude because their sensibilities have been offended. If Italians want it – and there are plenty that do – let them have it.

Also I agree with those that think that this is more a question of habits than of coffee or corporations. Part of the reasons that Italians want Starbucks is that there are very few places here – corporate or local – that have a relaxed environment with comfortable furniture and friendly staff where you can spend a few hours reading, studying, or just talking to friends. Sure a lot of bars here have tables outside, but it's really not the same. If you think about it, this is what has made Starbucks successful elsewhere – you know that it's always a nice place with decent coffee where you can unwind without being bothered. Italy has very few of these places so I say bring it on.


Blogger culturcated said ... (2:21 PM) : 

in vienna we have the same problem


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:22 PM) : 

I'm a coffee addict, in fact I drink about 8 to 10 espressos a day. Having lived in Spain where the coffee culture is also very strong and where Starbucks has found success I am very sure they can coexist. It's not the same to go to your favorite cafe or bar in Europe (your life basically gravitates around the bar or the cafe in Spain), than going to Starbucks for some crazy latte to go. Like you said Scott, it's not the same having coffee than having an espresso.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:29 PM) : 

...hopefully NOT! to be honest...
the coffee at STB's its not that great! And it is way over expen$ive!
Let italians be what they are:


Blogger caterina said ... (2:31 PM) : 

feeling so bad about starbucks in Italy!! (it's even much more expensive than any other bar..)
And love so much my coffe break at verger - milano..let's try it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:45 PM) : 

It's a sad day when the mermaid steps flipper in Italia. Sad indeed.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:45 PM) : 

As an italian, when I'm abroad I find the espresso so bad that I take a big cup of "american coffee" instead, which is not so bad actually.
You foreign people find so hard to try our wonderful culture of a quick espresso full of scent and taste?
Do you really need a Starbuck in Florence or Milan? (I can't even think about a Starbuck in Naples!)


Anonymous Eva said ... (2:46 PM) : 

The culture of espresso in Italy is very strong and honestly, as an Italian, I wouldn't like to have Starbucks in my country. It would be another "American phenomenon" just like Mc Donald's or Burger King but it will be lucky like bugers.
Anyway, it's not true that we don't sit at a table and have a coffee. We do :) as much as having an expresso at the counter. Or at home, at the end of a big meal or for breakfast or in the afternoon with a friend.
Then, an extraordinary variety of coffee would be lived as an exotic experience... just like when Italians go abroad and complain because you can't find "un buon caffè" :)
I think it won't change at all our way to "live" coffee. We still eat pizza and pasta instead of burgers after all :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:48 PM) : 

I was actually disappointed to see McDonalds in Italy when i went a couple years ago. I think having Starbucks in Italy would ruin the Italian experience. I loved visiting local cafes and I know that once a Starbucks is built most American tourists will flock to it because it is recognizable. The reason Italy is such a romantic country to visit is because there is mostly no sense of anything familiar or ordinary. It is a beautifully scenic, historic, and culturally rich place and it shouldn't be Americanized.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:55 PM) : 

I feel Awful at the thought of "to go" coffee in Italy. We can get it everywhere else, let's not ruin the Italian coffee culture.

Also- I don't like conglomerate monopolizing corporations. I agree with another commenter, Stop Starbucks! Independant coffee shops are where its at!


Blogger Unknown said ... (2:59 PM) : 

When I travel the last thing I want to do is go somewhere I can go at home. I love the coffee experience in Italy but a remnant will remain with or without Starbucks.


Blogger abodewell said ... (2:59 PM) : 

I never, ever drank coffee in my life...until I went to Italy. Everyday, I'd have a Macchiato and enjoy "la dolce vita." When I came back to the states, I went back to being a non-coffee drinker. Now (years later) I do drink coffee but Italy spoiled me for life. So, if Starbucks thinks it can compete...well, it can't, I know because I've yet to taste anything (anywhere) as good as the coffee I had in Italy.
Ciao, Bella!


Anonymous interinobaba said ... (3:00 PM) : 

Hasn't anyone seen the Dining section of today's New York Times? There's a whole article about how newer coffee bars like Stumptown and Cafe Grumpy etc in NYC are (re)introducing the Italian style of drinking coffee to the US! With stand up bars and no seating and the focus firmly on the barista. This is largely because people are getting sick of the "office" scene of people planted for hours in cafes with their 20 oz lattes and their laptops and their headphones...

How about: Italy gets Starbucks AND their own coffee culture, and America gets both too? i.e. it's not one or the other.


Blogger swag said ... (3:01 PM) : 

Milan would be the first place in all Italy where I could see them surrendering to packaged Starbucks coffee culture. Milan is also one of Italy's greatest national coffee-underachieving cities.

It's when it happens in Sicily, in Naples, in Torino... that's the real bellwether. Until then, this is just talk.


Anonymous Ijeoma said ... (3:04 PM) : 

I lived in Venice-Treviso for a year, and there were two places where you could get coffee to go. They tend to have disposable cups, and if you ask for a takeaway, they will pour it in the paper cup.

Not quite starbucks, but getting there.


Blogger Helena said ... (3:06 PM) : 

In Croatia people actually do sit down and enjoy their coffee. It is a certain daily ritual and already becoming world known. In Zagreb, tourist go to see people sitting and having coffee in the cafes and terraces, because it's like some kind of special Croatian way of living. One Costa coffee opened two years ago in the center of Zagreb, but nobody really cared about that ''coffee to go''. Now it has closed, and soon after that Starbucks has sent press release that they do not plan to come to Croatia for some time. :)


Blogger Star said ... (3:08 PM) : 

A few years ago, when I heard that Starbucks was considering opening shops in Italy, I wrote them, and told them to forget it, not so much because Italians denigrate "American" (or "long") coffee--which they do--but because THEIR coffee is just AWFUL. Really really AWFUL. I'd like to be able to get a decent "long" cup of sipping and dunking coffee, here, believe me, it's not silly snobbery, but Starbucks just isn't the company to do it, I think. Although the roasting is different for "long" coffee beans and espresso coffee beans, I've still had pretty good "long" coffee in an Italian bar, when they make the regular espresso, then just shoot some extra hot water into it. (This is probably going to stir up a tirade on the part of Starbucks lovers everywhere, but it can't be helped...once one's taste buds have gotten used to REAL and GOOD coffee, well, Starbucks' coffee seems too thin and bitter, even for "long" coffee.)


Anonymous Vittoria said ... (3:15 PM) : 

I don't understand, did someone talk about the decline of the espresso empire and a new dawn of Starbucks?
I'm Italian too and I think that we have space enough for both the experiences and above all, it is impossible to choose between linguine and spaghetti, not so difficult between caffè and coffee : )


Anonymous Pau said ... (3:16 PM) : 

Starbucks, please do not go to Italy. I'm tired of seeing you everywhere and I'd rather not see you if I study in Italy.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:16 PM) : 

Please God no. Italy would lose its old school charm if Starbucks started to hand out the espresso in carton containers to no no!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:21 PM) : 

No, no. Italy should not have Starbucks because it would ruin the good old fashion coffee. You know, the aromatic, dark and strong drink. I find Starbucks coffee for the most part too weak and unbearably sweet. But then again, I'm not a to-go coffee drinker. I brew my own espresso every morning. And it wakes me up and fills the air in my kitchen with aroma of a great day to come.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:29 PM) : 

It's probably inevitable, but the day that I visit my favorite little town in Italy and there is a Starbucks or McDonalds there, well - that is the day that I die.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:40 PM) : 

I like my coffee how I like my woman; hot, foreign and not much to say. Starbucks has no place in Italy, or any other country/continent for that matter.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:49 PM) : 

Starbucks stands for the complete opposite values and interests of this bog: no escence, no identity.

Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V : so uninspiring.


Blogger Dith said ... (3:55 PM) : 

Good ol' coffee anywhere is fine with me!
I love love love you blog sir! Keep it up


Blogger Jimmy O said ... (3:59 PM) : 

i agree with a lot of the above comments. starbucks's quality is very poor, but the sad thing is, italian espresso quality is often only marginally better.

you would think the birthplace of modern espresso would be the pinnacle, but in italy, coffee has become overcommercialized over the past 40 years.

the best way to keep starbucks at bay is to serve exceptionally superior coffee. for parts of northern europe, generally speaking the quality is better than in italy, especially in oslo and copenhagen (although there is still terrible coffee to be found everywhere, the latter two cities have shops that are exceptional).


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:00 PM) : 

You're right Scott, the Italians stand at a bar. They don't sit in cafes like the French!

Seems like Italy is ready for a change...


Blogger M said ... (4:01 PM) : 

Coming from Seattle myself originally, I've watched first all of America fall for the chain, then the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe. But I knew Starbucks wouldn't dare open up in Italy for a long, long time; Italian coffee is just so much better than anything you'll find in the rest of Europe, so there's really no necessity for Starbucks as a coffee product. But as a lifestyle trend ("coffee to go"), it's only a question of time before the chain swamps Italy, unfortunately.


Anonymous Bianca said ... (4:03 PM) : 

This is so funny because I've been talking about this for the past few days...I'm an american living near Florence and married to an Italian. I've seen Zara open when there was no mid-priced shopping, then pray for H&M and finally it's here and now I believe we are very close to Starbucks.

I don't think it would influence the bar culture at all. Italians, as much as they love to admit it, love the novelty coffee and food. They also like feeling like the rest of the world, instead of being totally out of the loop.

I for one hope to see Starbucks here, not only for the tourists. Winters here are freezing and summers are hot (it seems that the colder months last longer than the hot ones now) and so having a to-go iced coffee or frappuccino when it's sweltering out or a hot steamy venti while wandering around the city would be perfection. And of course having a place to actually sit without being charged extra would be fabulous as well. The point is not the quality of the coffee.

In Florence there are a few similar places, and McDonalds opened a similar McCafe. Italians go to McDonalds and there are more popping up everyday and while I would be sad if bars closed because of Starbucks, pizzerias and trattorias haven't closed because of McDonalds so I do think they could coexist beautifully. I think it will arrive soon enough...


Blogger SNARKitecture101 said ... (4:04 PM) : 

I lived in Rome for over a year and a half and there are plenty of authentic, dare I say- famous places, that do "porta via" for cafe. It's not a common sight, but definitely not unknown.


Blogger Montreal Street Views said ... (4:08 PM) : 

I just spent a week in NYC with my daughter. Half the city has a Starbucks cup in their hand!
Ack! As she would say.

Please don't ruin a little charm of Italy, standing at the coffee bar for a quick espresso is so much nicer than carrying a cardboard cup through the streets.

No Starbucks or Starbucks type outlets in Italy Please!!!


Blogger SabinePsynopsis said ... (4:14 PM) : 

Starbucks in Italy is a crime to me (but I would have said the same about France). One of my favourite moments in Italy is standing at a bar and drinking a quick espresso, listening to Italian chit-chat. Nothing compares.
(Funny, I just posted the Santa Maria Novella Basilica, too)


Blogger Mar said ... (4:15 PM) : 

I think one can leave with both. At least that is my experience in Portugal, where we have a big drinking-expresso-standing tradition and, at the same time, a seating-long conversation-drinking coffee. Starbucks (and alike) arrived a few years back and our traditional ways of drinking expresso have not been replaced, rather we have more choice. That being said, I still prefer, most of the times, my small expresso, which I drink standing in the small cafés.


Anonymous Kumeko said ... (4:16 PM) : 

As a Starbucks employee I vote a big no to Starbucks in Italy.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:24 PM) : 

I found this absolutely HILARIOUS!!! Why would someone take an espresso to go? You go to a bar, ask it and drink it while standing up and leaning to the counter and then you're off. I suppose the only way this will work is that the coffee-bar runs out of normal china espresso-cups XD I suppose the people of Starbucks have never had an espresso in Italy? Market research anyone???


Blogger I V E S T I T I ! said ... (4:25 PM) : 

In England, we needed Starbucks because we had crap coffee, and no coffee culture. Our thing is tea. But Italy has great coffee and a great culture to go with it so I don't see why they should cave. Who's ever been in Italy and thought 'I wish they had a Starbucks'?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:36 PM) : 

Anyone who thinks that Starbucks is a mighty being is welcome to review their failure in Israel in the early 2000's. They tried to penetrate the market but failed due to very well established local competition, with superior products and service. I am not a Starbucks fan, I will visit them if I have no choice, but rather not do that. Their stores are usually filthy, service is non-existant and their coffee poor.


Blogger Anna Brambilla personal shopper, stylist said ... (4:39 PM) : 

They have stolen my idea!!!(( I was going to be the first one to offer "coffee to go" in Italy)). But everybody told me that it's not gonna work here. As we can see they were wrong. I guess that Italy (the big cities) will not resist to Starbucks culture...purtroppo. So we have to enjoy the moment.


Blogger Unknown said ... (4:42 PM) : 

I love Starbucks for their Frappuchinos, but their espressi are as BAD as it can get... And I love the to-go-idea too, so if we can get real Italian coffee to take with me to my office, why not?


Blogger Chasen Marshall said ... (4:44 PM) : 

I haven't been to Italy for five years now. Stopping in to enjoy a coffee or espresso before continuing on my way was a favorite aspect of the culture. Seeing a Starbucks sign along the cobblestone streets of Florence would certainly be a sad day.


Blogger Catherine said ... (4:46 PM) : 

I'm a tea drinker, but couldn't resist the coffee when I was in Rome. It was such a treat to get up in the morning and get a coffee and pastry at this little spot near Campo dei Fiore. My friend and I loved standing at the counter and talking to the locals.

I think to-go cups are a hassle in general. I never seem to have a free hand to carry one around. And it kind of negates the break part of "coffee break" . . .

- Catherine at Littlehouse of Style


Blogger Karenina said ... (4:49 PM) : 

Not so much.

There ought to be Starbucks-free zones.

What the hell is the point of traveling if you're only going to partake in imported elements of your own culture while you're there? Shouldn't the point of voyaging beyond your own nation involve indulging in new customs (as well as sightseeing and purchasing souvenirs?) Really, this has got to stop.

What better place for it to stop than at the espresso bar. Now drink your dopio and be happy!


Blogger Janice said ... (4:54 PM) : 

No Starbucks in Italy please! just traveled there in June and loved that there are so many traditional (i.e., independently owned) coffee shops and pastry shops! same for France (even though they do have Starbucks now). I like authentic coffee shop experience. Starbucks just doesn't cut it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:10 PM) : 

I think that USA-mania globalisation has already ruined the world enough (i.e. McDonalds, Burger King, KFC)

Let the countries with a deeper and more profund view of their own culture live it freely, without needing "external" influences.

Italian coffee is one of the best in the world, and in every workplace is a tradition and contemplated moment (Business's actually admit a 5 minute coffee break, twice a day for every employee)

Therefore we don't need to be rushing down the streets with coffee paper cups in our hands.

Im sorry we dont need it...


Anonymous brooke said ... (5:12 PM) : 


Though I will say that if there were a place for Starbucks to open in Italy, it would be in Milan. Probably next to the Duomo.

While we're on the subject of "to-go", it's not just espresso they offer -- I survived on cappuccinos while I studied in Florence. I felt kinda dumb being the obvious American with a coffee cup on the streets, but that was the only way I could NOT be 30 mins late to class.

Like McDonalds, if Starbucks opened up outside of Milan, it'd probably be a novelty. And expensive. And definitely not any faster.


Blogger Taylor said ... (5:22 PM) : 

I have already commented on this, and I stand corrected about the espresso vs. coffee debate. When I was in Italy, the first day I would have gratefully bought a Starbucks coffee. But by the end of the trip I had long forgotten any desire I had for Starbucks, or any other "American" food for that matter. I don't even know that a Starbucks would do well there, since Italian coffee culture is so well-established as it is.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:28 PM) : 

No matter where you are in the world, espresso tastes better in ceramic. And it tastes better if consumed quickly. The ceramic regulates the temperature of the drink, and temperature can drastically alter taste. Enjoy your espresso in a cup!


Anonymous rei said ... (5:35 PM) : 


why should italians produce wonderful high heel shoes and not have streets suitable for them?
maybe it's for the same reason that the delicious taste of espresso can't last more than one block...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:43 PM) : 

This cannot happen. Evenif there is coffee to go, do notmake it starbcks. their coffee is not as nice as others' are. Also I adore Garance's bracelet/ wristband.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:47 PM) : 

Seems like the reverse is happening here: American coffee shops trying to go the way of the Italians.


Anonymous Liz said ... (5:58 PM) : 

I am a purist and I am 100% not okay with this idea. I already hate that we Americans can't just SIT and enjoy something for fear that aren't being productive. It's ridiculous. It makes me sad that a wondrous place such as Italy will soon fall into this tradition.


Anonymous loolah said ... (6:05 PM) : 

Starbucks came to Australia and last year withdrew about 80% of its operations because of losses. I never had one of its coffees until I went back to London and I can see why it failed - it tasted awful! Bland, dishwatery, not at all like coffee that's served here. What do we feel about Starbucks in Italy? This 'we' thinks it's a dreadful idea, and is one of those dodos who don't like globalisation at all.


Blogger Iris Tinunin said ... (6:11 PM) : 

I hope starbucks will be soon also here in Italy. I've tried their coffee and "frappuccino" when I went to Monaco and I felt in love with it!!


Blogger Kate said ... (6:16 PM) : 

From an American living begrudgingly in Florence: Deny it all you want people but Italians a)love American stuff b)love Starbucks when I've seen them in the States. I am so ready for the 'buck to arrive, it would be a huge hit. Throw in some free wi-fi and I'll move my bed inside.


Blogger Bronwyn said ... (6:29 PM) : 

My immediate thought was that they may try, but they'll fail the same way they did in Australia. When you can get good coffee "to go", as you can everywhere in Australia and New Zealand, and it looks as though you are beginning to in Italy, why would you drink Starbucks? It's crap.


Anonymous honeybeeandme said ... (6:34 PM) : 





Blogger 7500 said ... (6:41 PM) : 

Starbucks in'd be like going to France and going to McDonald's for the "French fries"... sacrilege, utter sacrilege...

But if you're ever in Boston (unlikely, horrible fashion scene here), then try Equal Exchange just outside of North Station! good coffee can be so hard to find while you're traveling...

unless of course you're in Italy...


Aaron Stoddard-Tetzläff


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:46 PM) : 

Remember coffee beans are an American import for about 400 years.


Blogger Misato said ... (6:49 PM) : 

I'll just say this: espresso is REAL coffee and American coffee is dirty dishes water... we have Starbucks over here (Portugal) and although the rest is OK (frapuccinos, etc.), the coffee-coffee sucks! major fail!

PS - we Portuguese drink about 2-3 espressos a day, there are people that don't function without drinking one first thing. our coffee is similar to Italian coffee, but usually stronger and more bitter... I think coffee shops like Starbucks can exist in countries like Portugal, Italy or Brazil, but it never will be real competition because the coffee sucks, it feels like luxury and its 4x the normal espresso price. besides, there's almost at least one coffee shop in every street over here!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:54 PM) : 

I really don't think you have to worry about Starbucks becoming popular in Italy. Take Australia for example, we don't have anywhere close to the complex coffee culture that Italy does, but because of the influx of Italian immigrants in the 50s, all Australian cities have good cafes and good coffee.

Starbucks was forced to close 90 of their stores in Australia, from lack of revenue, leaving a only 23 stores in Sydney/Melbourne. And they mostly cater to tourists, as Australians prefer to go to cafes for a cheaper and nicer coffee.

$5 for a coffee? You kidding me?

Yes, we have take-away coffees, but these coffees are real Italian style coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, etc. We don't have bar-style cafes.

Also, flavoured coffee is a travesty.


Anonymous Sophie said ... (7:02 PM) : 

Starbucks failed miserably in Australia. I think there are still a few around in international airports etc, but all in all Starbucks failed to reconcile the 'American coffee culture' to the needs of Australian coffee lovers. We still have an abundance of take away coffee vendors, but nine times out of ten I think Aussies prefer to buy their coffee from someone who remembers their order and knows their name! Maybe that's the key - being able to adapt not the American coffee experience, but the take away coffee experience to fit the local market.


Blogger stephanie. said ... (7:06 PM) : 

no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no nono no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no-that's how i feel!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:09 PM) : 

@BrandInkDesign: you rock!!!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:13 PM) : 

Starbucks will learn from the Australian experience- we learnt about coffee from the Italians, and Starbucks did not survive down here- they even had to withdraw from within Borders Stores! In Australian coffee places, they remember your order, adding flavoured syrups is not needed because the coffee is better quality, and the food is much better.


Anonymous Scott said ... (7:48 PM) : 

I agree with the comments above regarding Starbucks in Australia. They came, we saw, and they did not conquer. On the decision to withdraw 80 per cent of their stores in Australia, one Starbucks executive cited, "business challenges unique to the Australian market." I would be surprised if they did not encounter similar "business challenges" in Italy.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:12 PM) : 

amazingly awful!!! i cant believe they would betray one of the most beautiful things about italy!!!! their cofee and the fact that they dont have starbucks! why would u wanna have such a crappy coffe anyways! i bet it'll never get to the south where they are even more passionate about cofee


Blogger Eva said ... (8:23 PM) : 

Sounds wasteful to me....take a disposable cup one block and throw it away? Litter and more garbage are a terrible thing to emulate from the US.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:29 PM) : 

Just to add an Australian perspective: Starbucks here came -- and went.
Our own coffee culture is growing stronger by the day (especially in Melbourne) and the franchise began to realise it wasn't profitable. So, the one and only Starbucks in Canberra shut down last year. You'd be hard pressed to find Starbucks anywhere outside of airports in both Sydney and Melbourne.
So, moral of the story, I think if Starbucks were to try and 'invade' Italy, much the same thing would happen. Some people would love it - most would shun it, and overall they wouldn't make enough money. Save yourself the trouble and STAY away Starbucks!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:35 PM) : 

I don't understand why you would "want" a Starbucks; "waiting patiently" for a Starbucks in your town/country seems so silly to me. It's like the McDonalds of coffee franchises. I enjoy supporting local coffee shops and like plain coffee, espresso, cafe american. The point i'm missing may have something to do with my distaste for whipped cream...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:46 PM) : 

nooooooo to starbucks!!!! Keep some tradition and culture alive please...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:50 PM) : 

My fear is that Starbucks would run the little coffee shops out of business and destroy the coffee culture of Italy.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:07 PM) : 

In France, we only have starbucks in 2 or 3 cities, like everybody else i went there to see what it was like. I liked my Frappucino, i thougt that having a to-go coffee was great, but i never returned more than once. Why ? Because i'm french, and in France a coffee is an occasion to see your friends in a little café, talk with them for an hour or two. Starbucks can easily live on tourists and occasional clients, but French will always be french, and Italians will Always be Italias, our respective coffee tradition will be there for a few decades at least, i'm sure. They will coexist with the American coffee culture in the big cities (Paris, Lyon... in France, Roma, Milan... in Italie).


Anonymous Emily said ... (9:13 PM) : 

Take away coffee in Italy - I really can't see it catching on with the Italians.

I studied in Italy (in Prato, outside of Florence) a few years back. There was a coffee shop right near our University but our breaks between classes were too short to enjoy a coffee. People kept asking for take away coffee and eventually the cafe owner bought some take away cups to satisfy the students. But every time you asked for a coffee 'porta via' the owner would sadly shake his head at you.

Once a mate asked for take-away at another cafe and they just gave the coffee in a glass and covered it with foil! It was pretty funny having to return the cup to the cafe later on, especially when our Italian was not great.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:31 PM) : 

Noooooo! I refused to let a friend go to Starbucks in Paris years ago, it's the antithesis of the French cafe experience. Same goes with Italy. I want to stand up on Caffe Tazzo D'Oro and watch the handsome Italian men in their perfectly cut suits as I enjoy my caffe freddo con crema.


Blogger Josh said ... (9:35 PM) : 

When I lived in Florence last year I witnessed people getting their espresso to go quite often—
There is no way that Starbucks could ruin the Italian coffee culture.
Starbucks can't even make a proper macchiato!
I think that a Starbucks in Italy would fail miserably.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:37 PM) : 

Starbucks failed miserably here in Melbourne, Australia. Just last year they had to pull out all but one of their shops from the city. No one was going there, as Melbourne has an incredible coffee/cafe culture, mainly due to large waves of italian immigrants in the 50's and 60's. No one was going to pay $4 for a cup of coffee that tasted like caramel or white chocolate! We love our true, italian, highbrow coffee culture.
Although it must be said, I do visit starbucks when in the states'- simply because it is some of the best coffee you can easily get over there. Some what of an indictment on american coffee I think...


Blogger Juli said ... (9:37 PM) : 

I don't like Starbucks coffee just because it's doesn't taste like good coffee at all... I'm from Argentina and here people like to sit and enjoy coffee like italians.. I guess this is because there were a lot of italians immigrants here and we have similar culture...


Blogger Josh said ... (9:39 PM) : 

From my experience, people in Florence already order their espresso "portare via" (to take away) somewhat frequently.
But this has nothing to do with Starbucks.
Starbucks can't even make a proper macchiato! There is no way a Starbucks would survive in Italy.


Blogger SallyO said ... (9:48 PM) : 

Would it be asking too much to have a Dunkin Donuts in Italy?
(yes, I'm serious...)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:49 PM) : 

According to rumors Starbucks is going to open in Milan . very sad , I mean , I like starbucks but italian coffee it's on another planet . it's like comparing a good dish of pasta with that MCdonald's crap :-)


Blogger Val said ... (10:06 PM) : 

Mario-bucks! I know exactly where to get that 'to go' cappuccino from Santa Croce. Some days I just needed a hot steaming cup of (good) coffee 'to go' on my way to a class on cold mornings in Florence, and this was where to get the hook up. That said, after a year in Italy, I've only been back to Starbuck's 3 times this whole summer. Coffee - not the same, but love the to go cup!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:09 PM) : 

Hell no!.. Italian MTV is enough...


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