22 JULY 1972, Page 28

Nicholas ' s coffee

Sir: If Nicholas Davenport says he spent sixty pence on two cups of coffee at Orvieto, I am sure he did so, but, in order to prevent readers of The Spectator from getting wrong ideas about the amount of inflation existing in Italy and in England respectively, may I mention that, in this part of Italy at any rate, a more normal price for two black coffees, consumed standing at a bar, would be tenpence (five pence each). If the coffees were served at a table they might cost 50 per cent more, and, if of the milky kind called 'cappuccino,' one-third more than that i.e. 20 pence, to which a small tip can, but need not, be added.

Perhaps I might be allowed to add that I have just partaken of a very adequate meal at a local trattoria which consisted of minestrone (vegetable soup), grilled calves' liver with tomato salad, a fresh peach, a quarter of a litre of red wine and a cup of black coffee at a total cost, including tip, of 80; pence — sorry! At the new rate of exchange 85 pence.

T. C. Owtram Villa Belvedere, Gragnano, Lucca