Have you ever met someone who purports to love a thing but they always seem to find ways to suck all the fun out of it and you’re pretty sure they actually secretly hate it? That’s Venice with coffee. When it’s not charging tourist $48 for two cups of buck-fifty coffee, the city in northeastern Italy—no doubt replete with locals who will argue histrionically about how the way they do coffee is in fact the best in the world—is fining them over $1,000 for making their own.
According to the Independent, two German backpackers were sitting along the Rialto Bridge, taking in some lovely, lovely canal sights. When the pair of Berliners—presumably accustomed to the sort of brew available in their stellar coffee scene at home—grew thirsty for a nice cup of coffee, they decided to forgo the tourist upcharge and bust out their camp stove and make it themselves.
For their crime of coffeeing while in Venice, the pair was arrested by the local police. One city official stated the pair was offending “the rules of public decorum and respect,” and for this they earned a total of €950 ($1,065 USD) in fines—€650 for the male and €300 for the female—and a one-way ticket out of the city.
“Venice must be respected and those rude who think they come to the city and do what they want must understand that, thanks to the girls and boys of the local police, they will be taken, sanctioned and removed,” said Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor.
“From now on furthermore, we will also report them to the embassies and consulates of their countries of origin.”
Now, some might say the Berliners crime was having an open flame at a Unesco heritage site, which sure, that’s probably what Venetians want you to think. But if there’s any place an open flame is acceptable, it’s next to a body of water, like a canal. If the brewing goes sideways, you can just kick it in; it still wouldn’t be remotely close to the worst thing to have gone for a swim in those dirty, dirty waters, voluntarily or otherwise. What it really is is that they hate coffee, especially those who dare to not drink Italian coffee.
But them’s the rules. Dura lex, sed lex. So tourists, if you want to enjoy a nice cuppa next to a lovely canal, forget Venice. Go to Paris.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.