"Coca-Cola is not buying Venice!", its city council stated this week, reacting to polemics over a planned million-dollar partnership between the soft drinks giant and the lagoon city.
An Italian daily had reported the city was "selling itself" to Coca-Cola in a 2.1 million-dollar deal involving "vending machines in every corner of the city", including St Mark's Square.
In a city where tourists are even forbidden from picnicking on urban decorum, the council's chief of staff said the 60 vending machines would not be placed on public soil, let alone near landmarks such as St Mark's.
"Fifteen distributors will be placed on the principal vaporetti landing stages [Ed: the floating docks for the water taxis and buses], the others will be inside council carparks. Where's the invasion?" the council said, stressing the vending machines would not even bear the Coca-Cola logo. (Full)
Tongue-in-cheek website Only In Italy adds: "Nothing like standing shin-deep in dirty lagoon water paying 5 euros (6.35 USD) for a can of carbonated water with some flavoring and sugar. Well, if one considers the legal fleecing that goes on every day in Venice, what are the alternatives?"
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