Italian tourists find €100 coffees hard to swallow

Tuesday 20 August 2013 15.30
The seven tourists paid over €100 for four coffees and three liqueurs
The seven tourists paid over €100 for four coffees and three liqueurs

Tourists going to Venice beware - and make sure you read the fine print.

Everyone knows the lagoon city can be expensive but seven tourists from Rome got a bitter surprise when their bill for four coffees and three liqueurs at an outdoor cafe topped €100.

The scene of the mishap was the famed Caffe Lavena in St. Mark's Square, where 19th century German composer Richard Wagner, who died in Venice in 1883, sat to have his morning coffee every day when he lived in the city.

The famous cafe, which opened in 1750, features white-jacketed waiters and a chamber orchestra playing in the background.

What the Roman tourists - who posted their receipt on Facebook - apparently did not notice when looking at the menu was the "music surcharge" of €6 per person. It added up to €42, nearly half of their bill.

The owners of the cafe defended themselves.

They said all the prices (€6 for a coffee and €10 for a liqueur) as well as the music surcharge, are printed on the menus.

"If they found the prices too high, they could have got up and gone somewhere else, like many people do, or have the coffee standing at the bar inside, where it costs €1," Caffe Lavena's manager, Massimo Milanese, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.