Starbucks, which over the past five years has established a beachhead in Northern Italy, centered on Milan, now has turned its eyes southward, with a plan to open its first store just across the street from Italy's Parliament.
Despite early skepticism that it could survive in northern Italy's coffee culture, the chain now has 22 stores in Italy, with only one in the south, in a suburb of Rome. While there have been rumors of various locations in Rome the chain might pick, it's settled on a three-story former restaurant on Piazza Montecitorio, opposite the legislature.
Work has begun on renovations and the store is to open sometime in April. Starbucks connection to Italy has recently produced a new line of olive-oil-infused drinks, available in its Italian stores and soon to come to the U.S.