Brits were scandalised last week to hear the tale of Roger Bannister and his family being charged 64 euros for 4 ice-creams in Rome!
Of course they should have checked the prices beforehand: didn’t they realise you will always pay over the odds at tourist hot-spots?
Doesn’t everyone know that cafes in Italy may double or even triple prices for sitting at a table? (That’s the reason why all the locals crowd round the bar, rather than taking a seat with a view outside.)
But we’ve all been there to some degree, whether because we’re too polite to query the price, or because we lack the vocabulary or presence of mind to challenge the transaction.
I felt a sense of shame walking away from a fruttivendola at an open-air market to discover that I had paid around 20 euros for what seemed to be a cherry tomato & a handful of grapes.
When you’re fumbling with unfamiliar currency, trying to work out the exchange rate in your head and recovering from the ordeal of putting your basic Italian skills to the test, it’s hard to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous locals!
Has this happened to you too? Or worse? And how do you protect yourself against being ripped off when visiting tourist areas in Italy?
I’d love to hear your tips on how to avoid being left with a bad taste left in your mouth the next time you buy an ice-cream in Rome. Please leave a comment and share your experiences!
P.S. Just a quick reminder about the launch offer on Italian Workout! A2, currently €9.99 instead of €19.99, but only for another week or so..
Prashant Donekal says
Yeah, it happens. Once I paid 4.50 euro for a can of coke right in front of the Colosseo, and I only bought the coke to be able to use the bathroom. What a shame! Another time I was in Barcelona with a mate and we got charged Euro 19.00 for 2 pizzetti.
Sarah Ellis says
It can really take the shine of your holiday when it happens, can’t it Prashant? What I want is to be able to think of something to say on the spur of the moment, rather than walk away and feel angry afterwards!
Sarah Ellis says
It’s Sarah, newbie member. Due to a technical oversight this article should have been attributed to me. Obviously Daniel is too canny and too experienced an Englishman abroad to have been fleeced by a market stall-holder! That’s my life as a bumbling tourist 🙂 I’d love to know some stock phrases that I can pack away in my mental suitcase though for future trips if anyone has any? Something along the lines of the Cockney “what?! You’re ‘aving a laugh!” would be great.