Saturday, January 31, 2009
Venice Offers E-ZPee Discount Cards Online
If you are planning a trip to Venice, you should know that many public restaurants and cafes post “No Toilet” signs, leaving the gabinetti pubblici (public toilets), or even the streets as the only other alternatives for relieving yourself.
Believe it or not, many American tourists have been using the streets or canals to pee, much to the chagrin of city officials. This has become such a huge problem, that Venice is offering weekly E-ZPee discount cards online that include the use of toilets via its “Venice Connected” service (http://www.veniceconnected.it).
Without a discount card, a single trip to a public bathroom will cost $1.33, or a single Euro coin. With the card, visitor’s only pay 7 Euros for 10 visits.
"For people who want some security, who don't want to go into a bar to buy a coffee or a roll, so they can go to the bathroom, this is a solution," a Venice city spokesman said. However, the online purchase has to be made at least 15 days before your trip.
Paying $1.33 to go to the bathroom is a bit steep, but figuring out how many times you will need to “go” 15 days before your trip, is bizarre.
We all know it depends entirely on the quality of food and fresh water, not to mention the coffee.
I suppose, you could fill a cup with water, sink it in a pot of water overnight to simulate flood conditions, then pull it up gradually, so as not to disturb the bacteria; then, zap it in the microwave, add a teaspoon of instant coffee, and gauge how fast it travels through your digestive system. That should take care of the morning toilet estimate.
Next, estimate soups, salad dressing, and linguini sauce by using the coffee number you estimated above, divided by 3 (4 if you don’t use milk), times the number of ounces of liquid in all the other foods you plan to eat each day.
If you are already in Venice and have a spur-of-the-moment drink, you are out of luck, as the local pharmacy does not sell impulse E-ZPee discount cards.
(I’m still having trouble getting the English translation at http://www.veniceconnected.it).