Tourist’s fury over outrageous bill
A TOURIST has slammed an artisan Venice cafe for charging $67 for a couple of small coffees and two bottles of water.
Juan Carlos Bustamente, 62, from Chile, was shocked when he got the bill at Caffe Lavena, which sits on the edge of the iconic St Mark's Square, The Sun reported.
The coffee he enjoyed in the square, known locally as Piazza San Marco, was around 10 times the general price of a hot drink in the area.
He was charged €11.50 ($18) for each coffee, and €10 ($15.60) for each 250ml bottle of San Pellegrino water. The total came to €43, or $67.20.
The furious tourist posted a picture of the receipt on Facebook with the message: "I don't know what you think but €43 for two coffees and two bottles of water!"
The post quickly went viral, with one person saying: "This is theft. Shame!"
But a spokesman for Caffe Lavena hit back at Mr Bustamente, insisting customers were warned they had to pay more if they wanted to sit outside.
He said customers paid a premium to enjoy the "experience" of sitting on St Mark's Square.
"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," the spokesman said.
"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 ($1.95).
"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."
Tourists falling foul of Italian pricing is nothing new.
In January, a group of four tourists holidaying in Venice had to call police at the weekend after a restaurant charged them €1100 ($1720) for a basic meal.