Starbucks to Open in Milan, Renews Garden in Piazza Duomo
Since its first location opened in 1971, Italy has resisted the arrival of Starbucks throughout the country. However, last year the American coffee company and coffeehouse chain announced their plans to open a store in Milan in 2017. Though skeptics abound, CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement that the approach stems from a place of high esteem.
“Starbucks history is directly linked to the way the Italians created and executed the perfect shot of espresso,” he expressed. “Now we’re going to try, with great humility and respect, to share what we’ve been doing and what we’ve learned through our first retail presence in Italy. Our first store will be designed with painstaking detail and great respect for the Italian people and coffee culture.”
An official date has yet to released for when the Milan location will open its doors, but rumors lean towards September. In the meantime, the chain is winning over the hearts of the city through a sponsorship to renovate the garden in the Piazza Duomo, which will guarantee care in the area for three years. This space is only five minutes away from Starbucks’s first Italian office, located in the former post office building in the Piazza Cordusio.
According to the Councilor of the Green, Pierfrancesco Maran, the Superintendent has approved the operations, which “demonstrate how these forms of collaboration between public and private are fruitful in finding solutions that make the green areas of the city more beautiful and looked after.”
As part of the plan, the old plants will be replaced with rows of palm trees and banana trees that alternate with Bergenia plants, hydrangeas, and hibiscus. Maran said the evergreen leaves “will give an exotic touch to the square.” The architect of the project, Marco Bay, explained that the trees will be planted amongst the perennials with alternating blooms throughout the seasons in various shades of pink in order to ensure liveliness and color. He continued to explain that the base, a dark gravel carpet, will cover the automatic watering system.
Work will begin this week to transfer the current 24 hornbeams and 9 Clerodendrum that are in the big flowerbed in front of the Duomo to other parts of the city, in particular between via Salomone and Guido Galli park and between via Gonin e via Giordani. Then in about a month the planting of the palm trees, banana trees, and pink bushes will begin.