After a long wait and countless rumors, Starbucks has made an announcement: “Yes, we are opening our first store in Rome.” The location is still not clear, but most likely, it will be near the Vatican Museums. There are talks about a second store opening near the Spanish Steps as well.
The first location is set to open in September of 2020. You would not even consider this news back home, but here, in Italy, it is a huge deal. Italians love their coffee, and most importantly, love their coffee culture. So a big chain like Starbucks landing, and setting up shop in the Eternal City, goes against every fiber of the fabric of Italian soul.
It took the Seattle-based chain 47 years to make this decision. Starbucks has begun the conquest of Italian soil from Milan, where, I must say, it’s been very successful. But Rome is not Milan, Rome is the heart of the old world. A world with its traditions and rituals that remained unchanged for centuries.
Though the local coffee-shop owners do not seem to be concerned with the arrival of this multinational giant. The purists and the traditionalists are worried about Starbucks irreparably altering culinary habits of young Italians.
Starbucks will undoubtedly bring something new into the old world, but can it really compete with the world-famous Roman espresso or cappuccino? First, probably it will target a completely different clientele, and the second, most of the great Roman cafes already do offer a huge variety of drinks for a much lower price.
Well, I guess, we’ll just have to wait and see. For now, we would have one question for you, what is your favorite kind of coffee drink? Share in the comments below.