Coke machines in Venice

This item appears on page 79 of the May 2009 issue.

The cash-strapped city of Venice, Italy, has signed a €2.1 million ($2.7 million) deal with Coca-Cola to place soda and snack vending machines around the city.

The 60 machines will not bear the red-and-white Coke logo and will not be on public property but will be placed at the train station and at main waterbus stations, including that at St. Mark’s Square (but not in the square, where picnicking is banned).

The funds are slated to go to preserving Venice’s landmarks, as the Italian government has cut the city’s funding for culture and arts in half.