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Chinese Baristas Stir Up Italy’s Purist Coffee Culture In Face Of Racism And Violent Crime


“Chinese bars are everywhere, and the cappuccino is in a state of shock”. So go the translated lyrics of a slightly xenophobic 2013 Italian pop song by the Milanese duo “Il Genio” about Chinese migrants taking over neighbourhood cafes in northern and central Italy.

Six years later and according to an article in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera earlier this month, 11.5 per cent of bars in Milan are now run by first and second-generation migrants from China.

Italy has one of the highest Chinese populations in Europe, with more than 300,000 officially registered and many more living there illegally. Around 90 per cent of them come from China’s Zhejiang province.

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