Venice cafe defends charging tourist 'shameful' £38 for two coffees and some water

Chris Parsons
News Editor
St Mark’s Square cafe, and the extortionate coffee bill (inset) (CEN).

A Venice cafe has defended charging two tourists nearly £40 for two coffees and two bottles of water after their ‘shameful’ bill was shared online.

Juan Carlos Bustamente shared his astronomical bill on social media after being charged 43 Euros (£38.40) at Caffe Lavena in St Mark’s Square.

He ordered two Espressos and two bottles of water, but was charged a huge premium because he chose to sit outside.

The stunned tourist had to cough up 11.50 Euros (£10.30) for each Espresso and 10 Euros (£8.90) for each 25cl bottle of water.

The rip-off bill charged 20 Euros for two waters and 23 Euros for two coffees. (CEN)

The Caffe Lavena enjoys one of the prime spots in Venice, one of the world’s most popular tourist cities, but Mr Bustamente was still taken aback by the size of the bill.

Others shared his shock when he posted the bill online.

Vincenzo Cuius Luculano added: ‘This is theft – shame!’

St Mark’s Square in Venice is a hit with tourists thanks to its iconic setting and panoramic views. (Rex)

However, a spokesman for the Caffe Lavena was unrepentant and said that customers paid a premium to sit outside on St Mark’s Square.

He 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 Euro. 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.’