Cafe sparks anger after charging tourists €43 for two coffees and two bottles of water
A tourist who visited Caffe Lavena in Venice’s St Mark’s Square was left stunned when he was faced with a €43 bill for two coffees and two bottles of water.
Juan Carlos Bustamente, a 62-year-old political campaigner, was left with the eye-watering bill last week and took to social media to express his dissatisfaction at the bill saying: "I don't know what you think, but 43 euros for two coffees and two bottles of water!"
It showed he was charged €11.50 for each cup of coffee, and €10 for each 250ml bottle of water.
The high price was due to a surcharge imposed upon customers who wish to sit outside the historic cafe in the famed piazza, opposite St Mark’s Basilica.
A spokesman for Lavena defended the cafe's prices and said: "People get annoyed when the bill arrives because they do not listen when we hand them the menu even though it states clearly enough that prices are higher to sit outside.
"They just wave us away and if we insist they get irritated. If they just want a coffee they can have it at the bar for €1.25. If they want to sit outside and enjoy the music of the orchestra, look at the bell tower and the Basilica of St Mark’s, then they are paying for an entirely different experience."
One look at TripAdvisor will show Bustamente is not the first person to get caught out by this.
The Independent reports that four Japanese tourists claim to have been charged €1,100 for a plate of fried fish, four steaks and a bottle of wine in a restaurant near St Mark’s Square at the beginning of the year.