Beverages Bloomberg has a useful piece about why Starbucks hasn't opened in Italy and the country's coffee culture in general:
"The cafe’s owner, Orlando Chiari, a 78-year-old former stock exchange worker, has the mobile phone numbers of top executives at Italy’s most important coffee companies and the confidence to dial them in the middle of an interview. But when I ask him if he’s ever visited one of the Seattle-based chain’s locations, he answers me with an empty look.

“Starbush?” he says. “No. I’ve never even heard of it.”

It takes a couple of beats to realize he isn’t joking. When the concept is explained, he says, “Interesting. But does it exist in Italy?”"
Essentially its about perception. Starbucks consider themselves (in general) as somewhere for people to meet and hang out, whereas in the boot of Europe there's more of a connoisseurship.

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