The Venetian foodservice industry is once again under fire, this time after a restaurant charged a man €43 (NZD$73) for two coffees and two bottles of water.

Venice is commonly in the headlines for overcharging tourists for basic food items, but this case is slightly different, as the customer in question was from Italy. The exorbitant fee was the result of a surcharge for ‘sitting outside’, opposite the famous St Mark’s Basilica.

In 2013, after a run of incidents, then-manager Massimo Milanese defended the establishment. “The prices are there for everyone to see, there really is no doubt. It is for customers to decide whether they want to have a coffee standing up at the bar, or to sit down in the piazza. The cafe was established in 1750 so we are one of the most historic in Venice. It was patronised by Richard Wagner and many other famous people. It’s part of the city’s history.”

Venice is well known for cheeky pricing strategies, and earlier this year the city promised to intervene.