Venice Braces for Arrival of Coca-Cola Vending Machines
Notoriously awash with tourists, the Acqua Alta and Bellinis, Venice is about to add Coca-Cola to the mix as the city's official soft drink. Of course in a city that has a love-hate relationship with modernity, the multi-million dollar deal between Venice's mayor and Coke isn't going over very swimmingly.
According to the BBC, in an attempt to supplement the meager government funds earmarked for conservation, the city will receive $2.7 million from Coke for installing "sixty vending machines which will sell the drink all over the city, including at the main waterbus stations and reportedly even St Mark's Square, where a city ordinance already forbids picnicking by tourists."
Beleaguered by more than just the seasonal floodwaters but also the enormous cost of the plan to stave them off with barriers, Venice is stuck selling itself out for funding to maintain the city's architectural heritage.
This controversial announcement of sponsorship came yesterday, on the eve of Venice's famous Carnevale celebration, which already suffers from much commercialization and brand exposure. Luckily for Venetians, this time of the year will forever mean drinking many Spritz cocktails and eating lots of fritelle; Coca Cola's admission to the city is just another concession for the tourists.
· Row Over Venice Coke Sponsorship [BBC]
· Coca-Cola to Install Vending Machines in Venice [USA Today]
· Travel News coverage [Jaunted]
[Gondola image via Hotel-Pronto]