MILAN – There’s a saying in Italy: “Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata.”
It’s an omen uttered before gatherings and celebrations of all kinds that means, essentially, “If it rains on the bride, it’s good luck for the marriage.”
In this case, good luck will abound for the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan. The plans for Thursday night’s opening celebration were up-ended by thunder and lightning storms, but the festivities roared on undeterred until the rain passed. Friday morning, the Roastery opens its doors to welcome all customers.
Instead of gathering outdoors in the Piazza Cordusio for an evening of live performances by the world-renowned Milanese opera house La Scala, hundreds of guests crowded inside the Milan Roastery for drinks, food from Princi Bakery, an all-Pavarotti soundtrack and a staircase performance from “The Barber of Seville.”
The Milan Roastery is the first Starbucks in Italy and the third Roastery in the world, after Seattle, which opened in 2014, and Shanghai, which opened in 2017. It’s located in a historic former post office in Palazzo delle Poste, a bustling city square in the heart of Milan.
Orchestra equipment is covered with plastic as thunderstorms roll through the city, changing up the plan for the opening celebration of Starbucks Reserve Roastery. The first part of the celebration took place indoors, and the party moved outside once the rain passed.
Starbucks partners pour drinks during the opening celebration for the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan on Thursday evening.
“I’m really sorry about the rain, but this is what we are accustomed to in Seattle,” said Howard Schultz, chairman emeritus of Starbucks, to the crowd at the Milan Roastery opening celebration. “This truly is a dream come true."
Starbucks roasters and guests listen to Howard Schultz during the opening celebration of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan.
Howard Schultz greets visitors behind the main bar of the Milan Roastery at the opening celebration Thursday night.