Posts Tagged ‘Milan’

Milan’s Robot Bartender

January 16, 2020

Bartender, you’re fired. An industrial robot mixologist has taken your job.


“Robotic bar opens in Milan to ’empower’ city’s drinker,” Lucy Ingham, Verdict


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Starbucks in Italy: ‘Costruiscilo, e loro verranno’

September 10, 2018

Starbucks in Italy: 'Costruiscilo, e loro verranno'

Espresso made it’s world debut in Milan at the 1906 World’s Fair. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz claims his visit to Milan 35 years ago inspired him to go into the coffeehouse business, so he’s thanking the Italian city by draining business from its venerable coffee bars. The huge Milanese Starbuckery opened Friday in an historic former post office, and plans are brewing for Starbucks in Verona, Venice, and other Italian towns.


“Will espresso-loving Italy embrace country’s 1st Starbucks?” Luca Bruno and Frances DeMilio, Associated Press

“Starbucks fulfills its Italian dream. Italians are yet to be enchanted.” Aisha Hassan, Quartz

“Starbucks’ Italian dream comes true, but it is not cheap,” Francesca Landini, Reuters

“Does Italy Want More Cafes? Starbucks Will Find Out,” Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times

“Starbucks In Italy, Latest Stop On U.S. Food Imperialism Tour,” Brant deBoer, Il Sole 24 Ore, via Worldcrunch


Note: “Costruiscilo, e loro verranno” = “Build it and they will come.” Maybe.


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Image (“Young Girl Blogging, after Ramon Casas i Carbó”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Starbucks to Bring Espresso to Italy

March 16, 2016

Starbucks to Bring Espresso to Italy

Starbucks is coming to Milan, and Italian cappuccino lovers are frothing mad. The java giant’s CEO Howard Schultz claims his visit to Milan 33 years ago inspired him to go into the coffeehouse biz, so he’s going to thank the ancient city by draining business from its cafés. The first Milanese Starbuckery will open in 2017, and plans are brewing for Starbucks in Verona, Venice, and a couple of other Italian towns.


“Can Starbucks succeed in Italy?” BBC News

“Taking the plunger: Starbucks to open first store in Italy,” The Guardian

“Starbucks in Italy: The Italian espresso wasn’t express enough, apparently,” Samuel Muston, The Independent


Berlusconi Celebrates Mussolini; Gal Pal Cashes In

February 18, 2011

Burlusconi Celebrates Mussolini; Gal Pal Cashes In

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi commemorated the work of his predecessor, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, in a ceremony at the Vatican yesterday. Mr. Berlusconi met with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to mark the anniversary of the 1929 Lateran Treaty establishing 109-acre Vatican City within Rome. That’s the same Cardinal Bertone who urged “everyone, especially those who hold a position of public responsibility […] to commit themselves to a more robust morality, a sense of justice and legality.” The two officials may have shaken hands, and it is unclear whether the Cardinal wiped his off afterwards.


Italian — Moroccan Relations

January 21, 2011

Italian -- Moroccan Relations

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is being hounded by prosecutors in Milan just because he had sex with a sixteen-year-old girl. Why not? After all, he paid for it. A billionaire media mogul, Berlusconi is a firm believer in free market capitalism, but prostitution is considered terribly unfashionable in Italy. The Berlusconi government even passed strict laws against prostitution, but also another law making the Prime Minister immune from prosecution. Che dilemma!

The courts revoked the immunity law? Ha! Silvio Berlusconi refuses to be questioned by magistrates about prostitution, and refuses to leave office for refusing to testify.

The young lady in question, runaway teen dancer Karima el-Mahroug (aka Karima Keyek), is nicknamed “Ruby Rubacuori,” “Ruby Heart-Stealer.” She must still be a teenager since she’s on Facebook [we pause briefly so you can “Like” her]. Ms. el-Mahroug was born in Morocco, so perhaps her compensation was merely an aspect of Italian foreign aid policy.


Drama at La Scala

December 14, 2010

Drama at La Scala

Daniel Barenboim got an ovation even before he conducted Wagner’s Die Walküre at Milan’s La Scala last Tuesday. It was after he addressed Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who was in the royal box:

“In the names of the colleagues who play, sing, dance and work, not only here but in all theatres, I am here to tell you we are deeply worried for the future of culture in the country and in Europe.”

Mr. Barenboim also quoted Article 9 of the Italian Constitution, which directs the government to promote culture and protect the nation’s artistic heritage.

There was an equally impassioned performance in front of the historic opera house earlier in the day as caribinieri beat and gassed protesters, hundreds of cultural workers and students from across Italy. The protests were in response to proposed drastic cuts in government funding for education and the arts.