Italian cafe fined $1,050 for failing to display espresso price


(CNN) — An Italian cafe owner is in hot water after being fined 1,000 euros ($1,050) for failing to display the cost of an espresso at 2 euros ($2.12).

The owner of Florence’s Ditta Artigianale cafe was fined by police after a customer reported it in late April for failing to advertise its prices as required by law.

Florence Local Police Inspector Leonardo Magnolfi told CNN on Thursday that a male customer reported the cafe for not displaying the price of coffee behind the counter, as required by law.

The police acted on the complaint and fined the store 1,000 euros after verifying that the price was missing.

Cafe owner Francesco Sanapo took to Facebook to complain about the sanction, which he said came after a customer was surprised at the €2 cost of a decaffeinated espresso.

Sanapo is an award-winning barista and the star of ‘Coffee Hunters’, a show on Italian foodie channel ‘Gambero Rosso’.

Writing on Facebook on Monday, Sanapo said: “I am not here to discuss the fine, it will be done in the relevant offices and I am ready to pay for my mistakes.”

However, he said he felt he had to speak out for the good of the hospitality industry and “the future of Italian coffee”.

The company promotes its fair trade credentials, while its website says it works “exclusively with good coffees… good in taste and good in ethics.”

Sanapo wrote, “I’m here to make sure no one else gets outraged if they pay two euros for an espresso. It’s a mission and I’ll do it with my head held high.”

He argued that while the prize might not be visible, it was available in the QR code menu.

CNN has contacted Sanapo for further comment.

Inspector Magnolfi told CNN that officers routinely check stores and food establishments for regulatory violations. He said on average they issue about 15 such fines each year – for a range of products including ice cream and clothing.

Magnolfi said that “displaying the price of a product or good is one of the fundamental principles of consumer protection”.

He said he accepts that some may be surprised at the fine “which may seem excessive for a two-euro coffee, but it is the law”. He added that the coffee tends to cost between 1 and 1.5 euros, which “is probably what alarmed the customer in the first place”.


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