Starbucks Milan launch party to block Piazza Cordusio

6 Sep. Biggest Starbucks branch in Europe opens.

Milan’s central Piazza Cordusio and some surrounding streets will be off limits to traffic – including tram lines 16 and 19 – from 16.00 to midnight on Thursday 6 September for the opening party of Starbucks’ newest coffee bar.  Pedestrian access will also be limited from 19.00 as the party gets under way.

Some 1,200 invited guests will celebrate the Seattle-based chain’s first link in Italy from 18.00 on with a mega-screen showing the story of the company and its founder Howard Schultz, and a performance by the corps de ballet of Milan’s world-famous Teatro alla Scala.

Starbucks has chosen a historic building, the former post office, in one of Milan’s most central squares, at a stone’s throw from the cathedral.

Starbucks does not serve only coffee: biscuits, cakes, sandwiches, hot chocolate, doughnuts and more can be found on the menu.

The latest addition to the chain of almost 30,000 coffee bars across the world will probably not be the last in Milan: media reports suggest that Starbucks is also planning to offer its famous frappuccini (or is it frappuccinos?) in Corso Garibaldi and at Malpensa airport.

In an interview with UK daily The Guardian, Schultz said: “I came to Milan as a young man in 1983 ... my imagination was captured by Italian coffee. We are not coming here to teach Italians how to make coffee; we are coming here with humility and respect, to show what we have learned.”