Venice tourists get shock bill at coffee bar

Last updated 08:25 21/08/2013

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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 ($168).

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.

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, or nearly half of the bill.

The owners of the famous cafe, which opened in 1750 and where clients are served by white-jacketed waiters as a chamber orchestra plays, 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 one euro," Lavena's manager, Massimo Milanese, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Have you ever been faced with a ridiculous bill while travelling? Leave a comment below.

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- Reuters

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