“Apparently there’s a Starbucks at the station. I’m not sure where it is exactly,” I overheard one American teenager say to another as we happened to cross the road simultaneously in front of Santa Maria Novella. I pointed them in the right direction, down the escalator and into the row of shops below. Random acts of kindness, I thought to myself.
Now the Seattle coffee giant is creeping closer to the Duomo as the rather useful homeware store Dmail shutters its operations. The double-tailed mermaid logo is already up at the windows of via dei Cerretani number 46R and labourers are hard at work renovating the premises.
Whenever the idea of a centro storico Starbucks opening has been floated in the past, the possibility has been met with an emotion akin to horror among The Florentine readers. Perhaps the Santa Maria Novella micro-store, hidden away as it is, has smoothed the process. Local newspaper Corriere Fiorentino reports that the change in operations in via dei Cerretani is spearheaded by Percassi, which owns Dmail and has been the sole franchisee of Starbucks in Italy since 2018. Indeed, the Percassi website is currently offering three positions for its “Firenze Centro” store: store manager, assistant store manager and barista. (Plus, a Starbucks Livorno appears to be on the horizon too.)
The next time I encounter an international traveller looking for a Frappuccino in central Florence, I’ll be spoilt for choice where to send them.
Opening date still to be announced.