One unifying experience through the 20 regions of Italy will always be the humble but noble caffè. While every area has its own culture and cuisine, you will find the same adoration of coffee. And rules, so many rules, don't even get me started on the cappuccino! But I digress. Starbucks has finally been allowed in, with a location in Milan and Turin, and ever growing rumors of an opening by the Vatican. But the ‘to go’ coffee culture will never catch on here, at least not with Italians.
From living in Rome, we know that taking a coffee, which is always an espresso, is a sacred moment. This tiny gluttonous break, made to unplug from life is a 2 minute social occasion, catching up with your barista or others at the bar. It's a stir and slurp kind of culture, not one that is meant to travel with you and CERTAINLY not one that comes with a straw in the cup made for your daily recommended water intake.
One thing you may have noticed throughout the regions is the difference in how Romans order a coffee. Due to the local dialect, il (the pronoun for masculine the), is generally interchanged with er. Romans also love their consonants, so an extra m or b thrown in there is quite common as well. So if you're really trying to blend next time you're out with your Roman friends, suggest daje, prendiamo er caffè. I'll tell you what, it's a real conversation starter.