It has taken more than two years to build, but on Friday, Starbucks will open its first Italian outlet.
The company’s Milan “roastery” goes far beyond the usual latte production line.
The marble-floored store will offer a “theatre of coffee roasting, brewing and mixology”, as well as cocktails, pizza, bread and ice cream.
Local businesses said they were “not afraid” of the competition, and emphasised that high-quality coffee was already widely available in the region.
The Federazione Italiana Pubblici Esercizi (FIPE), which represents the country’s bars and restaurants, said Italy’s 149,154 coffee outlets offered good value, charging an average of one euro for an espresso, and €1.30 (£1.17) for a cappuccino.
Starbucks said its Milan store was intended as a “homage” to Italy’s coffee traditions.
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