Beware of Surcharges . . .

Even at resturants!

MSNBC reports about 7 tourists visiting Venice, Italy, who got sticker shock when their afternoon coffee bill came to 100 Euros ($130 USD). 

“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.”

Cafe Lavena Website

The tourists did not pay close attention to the menu’s prices and surcharges. Close to half of their bill was music surcharges, at 6 Euros a person. The restaurant is defending itself pretty vehemently:

They (Caffe Lavena) said all the prices (six euros 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 one euro,” Lavena’s manager, Massimo Milanese, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

I am going to side with the restaurant in this case. 6 Euro music surcharge for a chamber orchestra is a steal. Tourist need to do their due diligence before settling on a place to eat, drink or sleep. If you are unsure, ask the establishment before committing. 

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JD Teitelman


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