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TOPIC: milan

food / travel

Italian Coffee, Full Circle: Starbucks Marks Five Years In Italy

It has been five years since Starbucks first opened in Milan, where the company's CEO first got the idea that the world wanted quality coffee. Today they set their sights not on retreat but expansion. The path ahead in this mecca for "caffé" for the Seattle-based coffee shop is a rosy one.

MILAN — It's been five years since Starbucks' debut in Italy, and there is still a line to enter the Reserve Roastery. Inside the former Post Office building in Milan, the brand is celebrating an important anniversary, which tastes like 100% Arabica coffee, and a bet won: they have managed to sell coffee to Italians. Not just any coffee, but a flat white.

This is perhaps the greatest achievement in the company's partnership with the Percassi Group, which is responsible for developing a network that will reach 37 or 38 stores by the end of the year (the next eagerly awaited stop: Naples).

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In the meantime, to celebrate, a rich schedule of events has kicked off (until Oct. 1st). On the program are tastings, workshops, blues concerts and events during Milan Fashion Week. It's all organized to give an idea of the connection achieved between Italy and the American brand.

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This Happened — April 25: Liberation Day In Italy

On this day in 1945, Allied troops entered Milan and other major Italian cities, signaling the end of fascist rule and the Nazi occupation. The Italian resistance movement played a significant role in the liberation of the country.

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La Periferi​a​, Changing Faces On The Forgotten Outskirts Of Italian Cities

Italian politicians often talk about the communities on the peripheries of cities as if they are filled with crime and decay, but the reality is changing before our eyes

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Pandora Papers, Japan’s New PM, Spicy Medicine Nobel

👋 Bom dia!*

Welcome to Monday, where the financial secrets of the rich and powerful are exposed in a massive data leak, the two Koreas get on the phone for the first time in months, Japan has a new prime minister and there's a spicy Nobel prize winner for medicine. For Paris-based daily Les Echos, we have Anna Rousseau reporting on how fashion-famous France is finally starting to catch up with the plus-size market.


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Alessio Perrone

Post-Lockdown Milan: All Booked And On The Verge Of Bankruptcy

Bars and restaurants are finally able to receive customers, at least for outdoor service. It's a welcome shift for a weary population that is still, nevertheless, wary about the lingering pandemic.

MILAN — Hanging from the wall opposite the main entrance of Red Red Wine, a blackboard reads: "Tasting of indigenous grapes of Southern Italy. Reservation required."

The words are scribbled in colored chalk and advertise an event that took place more than a year ago — on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. The board is a time capsule, in that sense, like a broken clock that stopped ticking, from one day to the next, right around the moment when everything in Italy came to a halt, when time suddenly stood still.

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Alessio Perrone

Hiding The Dough: Woman Caught Smuggling €70,000 In Pasta

Italy, as everyone knows, is the place for pasta. And so it goes without saying that visitors to the country often head home with a package or two in their duffels or suitcases.

The woman in this story was no exception, in that regard. And yet, there was something about her that must have puzzled authorities when she showed up recently at customs controls in Milan Malpensa airport.

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Monica Serra

A Nation Mourns: He Was Italy's Coronavirus Victim No. 10,000

As the toll passes 10,000, Italians try to look past the unthinkable numbers to remember each life lost, including a 34-year-old father from a town near Milan.

MILAN — In just over a month, the death toll in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 10,000, with the Civil Protection Authority putting the count Saturday at 10,023 by day's end.

The epicenter of the crisis has been the northern region of Lombardy, where nearly 6,000 people have died. Between Friday and Saturday, between the Lombard cities of Bergamo, Brescia and Milan, there were 542 new deaths. Most of those who have died in Italy have been elderly, many infected in hospitals and retirement homes. But there are also young victims of COVID-19, including a 34-year-old named Federico Castellin, whose death Friday turned out to be the 10,000th registered in Italy since the crisis began. Like those of all the other victims, his story should not be lost in the magnitude of the official numbers.

Federico succumb to the virus at Milan's Policlinico Hospital, after being transferred the night before from the city's Sacco hospital, where he'd been fighting for his life for nearly a week. A father of a one-year old and married to Anna, he had suffered some minor health problems that doctors said had left him more vulnerable to the disease. But in his native town of Cinisello, northeast of Milan, everyone knew him by his smile.

Today is like many other days over the past month.

A year and a half ago, he had opened Café Zen, in the town center, two years after the closure of his parents' café, and with the help of his father Paolo, behind the counter. The local tourism association is located next door to the coffee bar, and its president Paolo Tamborini, became fast friends with Federico. "He was always upbeat and generous with everybody," Tamborini said. "He was a serious person, someone you could trust. The last time I saw him was on March 9th when he had to close the café for the national lockdown. But Federico was fine, he had no symptoms."

Giacomo Ghilardi, the mayor of Cinisello, said this day was both similar and different than others in the town of 75,000 since the outbreak began. "This day has really left its mark," he said. "Today is like many other days over the past month, days where I find myself mourning our fellow citizens."

Mayor Ghilardi continued: We will remember everybody. All our loved ones, friends, family, acquaintances. Everyone we have lost and will lose because of the coronavirus. We will remember Federico, who was always kind, generous and selfless. Today is a difficult day. These are times of struggle, courage, suffering, work, pride. But soon, we will wipe away our tears, we will get up, we will smile again and we will remember. That I promise you."

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Watch: OneShot — Milano Love In The Time Of Coronavirus

It's a bittersweet scene captured at Milan's Central Railway Station, at the global epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis.

With more than 800 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus and 12,000 infected in Italy, the northern region of Lombardy, which includes Milan, is by far the hardest hit, with 617 deaths as of Thursday.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has extended a severe lockdown to the entire country, with all shops, restaurants, cafes and bars being ordered to close, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies, until March 25.

Amid the chaos and uncertainty, this photograph recalls Gabriel García Márquez" epic 1985 novel Love in the Time of Cholera. In one form or another, this current "plague" will find its place in the annals of literature.

Milano Love in the Time of Coronavirus © Daniele Mascolo / Xinhua / ZUMA Wire

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food / travel
Cynthia Martens

Designer Doggy Bags In Italy, More Bark Than Bite?

MILAN — Taking home leftover food from a restaurant is not common practice in Italy, where your fresh plate of lasagna should be finished the first time around. Basta. But as the world struggles to reduce food waste, even Italians may be coming around to the idea of leaving a meal with leftovers in hand — provided that they are packed in stylish doggy bags.

Leading the charge in this revolution, not surprisingly, is fashion capital Milan. Turin daily La Stampa reports that back in 2010, the Lombard association Cena dell'amicizia (friendship dinner) began distributing paper bags to local restaurants in an effort to "break down the walls of embarrassment" associated with doggy bags.

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Gianna Milano

The Heart Can Mend Itself, A New Hope For Cardiac Research

Like brain cells, those of the heart were long thought unable to regenerate. Science is showing this to be false, though applying treatment accordingly is still in its infancy.

MILAN — Dr. Giulio Pompilio credits stem cell research for overturning a long-held belief about the heart.

The cardiovascular surgeon, who heads the Vascular Biology and Regenerative Medicine Unit at Milan’s Monzino Cardiology Center, says the heart is equipped with self-regenerating capabilities, a fact that holds great potential for treating cardiac problems.

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Milan Opens Italy's First Food Bank For Animals

MILAN — The economic crisis isn’t affecting just bipeds. Our furry four-legged friends have also been struggling, as many have been abandoned or neglected when their families no longer had the resources to care for them.

Italy has launched its first food bank for animals to help with this problem, thanks to the volunteer group City Angels. The initiative, known as Balzoo, collects food donations for animal shelters and pet owners who are struggling to feed their four-legged loved ones.

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