Starbucks Has Opened Its First-Ever Location In The Heart Of Rome

Known as the literal and political center of Rome, Piazza di Montecitorio has long been iconic real estate. Now, in view of the ancient obelisk Augustus Caesar brought back from Egypt and one of the houses of the Italian Parliament, Starbucks' emerald green mermaid beckons customers to partake in a venti experience. 

This is the first Starbucks to gain a foothold in the bustling center of Rome. As noted in the release, the coffee culture in Rome, along with the one in Verona and Milan, captured Starbucks founder Howard Shultz's imagination in the early 1980s. It seems only fitting then that the massive coffee brand burrows deeper into the heart of the city that inspired its aesthetic all those years ago. All the coffee chain's traditional drinks will be offered, including the local favorite, espresso, and Starbucks' newest innovation, the olive oil-infused Oleato

While the company's initial foray into Italy in 2018 received quite a bit of backlash, Starbucks has done surprisingly well there. Traditionalists can clutch their pearls — or coffee beans? — as much as they want, but the Starbucks Italian expansion appears far from over. This Montecitorio location in Rome is Italy's 25th Starbucks, a number that the company is looking to continue to grow. 

Starbucks arrives in the Eternal City

As for the new digs, the interior of this two-story Starbucks is a stylish departure from most of the chain's American shops. Downstairs, a neutral palette of tan walls and mottled marble floors make for a luxurious but inviting-looking backdrop. Upstairs, artwork sporting soothing earth tones shares space with the warm blonde wood and caramel-hued upholstery that make up the location's furnishings. Each of these details was selected to reflect the materials used in the Piazza di Montecitorio in the hope of organically blending in with the neighboring architecture. 

And then, of course, there's the dynamic view of the Chamber of Deputies, an amalgamation of the many design styles of Rome. Customers can take one of the 80 available seats or grab their order to-go and head out to the nearby Pantheon, Column of Marcus Aurelias, and other historical sites. 

What's next for the Starbucks expansion in Italy? In addition to two new grab-and-go spots in Termini Station, the chain hopes to count 36 Starbucks locations in the country by the end of 2023. As Percassi Retail CEO Matteo Morandi put it, this "opening will be the first in a series of wonderful surprises for the city."