I think that coffee prices are regulated in Italy as long as you drink it at the bar. If you sit down then they can charge whatever they want. It’s one of the things I don’t like about the coffee culture there. I much prefer sitting down in a cafe then downing a cup while standing up. But when in Rome (or Venezia in this case).
A cafe customer in Venice who was stunned when presented with a €43 (£38) bill for two coffees and two bottles of water has prompted a social media outcry.
Juan Carlos Bustamente, a 62-year-old political campaigner who lives in Italy, shared a photo of his receipt from Caffe Lavena in the notoriously pricy St Mark’s Square on Facebook last week, where it was shared nearly 10,000 times and attracted worldwide media attention.
The steep bill was a result of the surcharge the famed eaterie collects from customers seated outside in what is regarded as the sunniest corner of the piazza, opposite the extravagant façade of St Mark’s Basilica, where they can listen to the orchestras that play there.
A spokesman for Lavena pointed out that this extra fee is stated on the menu, and that a coffee at the bar inside costs just €1.25 (£1.12).