Tourists in Italy are calling for restaurants to stop price gouging after a visitor to a restaurant at one of Italy’s most popular lake resorts was charged $2 for asking to have sandwich cut in half.
The customer of the Bar Pace, in Gera Lario was scanning the receipt after it came back around $3.60 more than expected, when he realized that there was an unexpected $2 charge for “diviso da meta” or “cutting in half”.
The cost of cutting the toasted sandwich was more than they paid for the coffee.
The bar then added 10 per cent consumer tax for the privilege.
The sandwich-cutting charge has become a divisive topic in Italian media. The bar’s owner Cristina Biacchi, said additional requests have a cost as they have to use two plates and two placemats instead of one and then have to spend additional time and resources to wash them.
They also claim that based on the presentation of the sandwich and its contents, it needed to be carefully cut in two and re-plated.
Italian cafes have a long tradition of discretionary charges for tourists, particularly in scenic tourist hot spots.
In 2018, Caffe Lavena near St Mark’s Square in Venice came under fire for charging €43 for two espresso coffees and two bottles of water.
The cheeky café said that they charged an additional fee for sitting outside on the palazzo adding that coffee ‘without a view’ was available inside for $1.25.
In Tuscany’s beachside resort of Versilia renting an umbrella and two sunbeds for a day now cost a minimum of US$27 while locals pay significantly less.