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Howard Schultz famously was inspired by Italian espresso cafes to envision a future for Starbucks in the US and beyond, but it has taken awhile for the company to identify a way for it to bring its stores to Italy.

But now, the Seattle Times reports, Starbucks has decided to open its first store there - a "big, high-end Roastery located in a historic building in central Milan. The 25,500-square-foot store, to be located in the turn-of-the-century Palazzo Delle Poste (post office) building on Piazza Cordusio, will open in late 2018."

It is slated to be Starbucks' first Roastery store in Europe.

This represents a change of plans for Starbucks, which originally planned to open one of its traditional stores in Milan. But the success of the Roastery in the US - where the average purchase is roughly four times that of regular Starbucks - led the company to believe that the higher end concept was the better way to go.

Starbucks says that it will wait to see how the Milan Roastery does before deciding how to move forward. The company has a number of sites available to it in Milan, but says it is "agnostic" about whether they should be used for its traditional format or something more upscale.
KC's View:
When this finally opens, I'll be curious to see the ratio of tourists to residents who patronize the store. The question is whether it'll be an authentic enough coffee experience to satisfy Italians, who pretty much invented it.