In Italy, in 1984 I drank my first cappuccino, I’d never really had anything in the espresso family, and this foamy, dark, rich creature was something else. I was hooked on the capp.

But, as I was quickly admonished after ordering one late in the day, you don’t drink cappuccino anytime after breakfast. Milk is a morning item for Italians, once you drink it in the morning, that’s it. Cut off. Unless… you’re American, then they’d just roll their eyes and serve you. Or at least that’s how it was in the 80’s, when tradition still ruled and cultures were worth saving. And… just a mere 40 years, may I quickly remind you, after we saved the Italians from becoming German speakers. Oh, You’re welcome, Italy. I know at the time, you weren’t really cool with it, but do you see now, how well it all worked out right? Allies, Axis, who got the better deal? No need to thank us, but ok. Prego, prego. You’re so welcome.

And now, 30 years after my historic visit to your beautiful country, 30 years after tasting my first cappuccino, my first spaghetti ala vongole, my first grilled octopus, as our second enormous gift to you after saving you from your own worst ally, we present, our very own pride of America, the green mermaid herself, Starbucks. Yes, the legless lady has slithered across the Atlantic and flopped her green tail and topless body onto the rocky shores of the land of Dante and Dr Illy. Oh, no need to thank us, again! We’re just here to spread our cultural imperialism through capitalism. Just like the Venetians of Marco Polo’s day did for you!

And I bet those Italians just can’t get enough of the Venti-soy-3 Splendas-cotton-candy-gingerbread-salted-caramel-red-velvet-frappucino deliciousness! What could be better, more Italian, more “La Dolce Vita” than savoring a forty-ounce, sweetened, flavored and colored coffee beverage by the Trevi fountain, then following tradition by throwing in the plastic sippy top and making a wish? So awesome, just like in that movie, what was it called? Again, don’t thank us, you guys invented the cappuccino! We just made it so much better, by enlarging it and flavoring it! We should thank you! Grazie mille Italia!, grazie mille. Oh, con piacere, America! Con gusto piacere.