In an attempt to possibly outdo the man who was charged £75 for three waters in a London hotel, a bar in central Rome was investigated recently for charging an American couple €42 (AU$60) for three gelatos and a bottle of water.
As their menu is available to patrons, local police found Bar il Caffè, located a stone’s throw from Trevi Fountain, to not be in breach of Italian law.
But the ordeal did leave James and Mariann Luciani, who reported the incident to authorities after paying the bill, with a sour taste in their mouths.
“We’d just paid €59 for our entire dinner, including a litre of wine, and then were charged €42 for gelato!” James told the English-language outlet, The Local.
“We’ve been careful in watching out for pickpockets in Rome, but I never thought I would get scammed here.”
Speaking to The Local after the incident, the manager of Bar il Caffè, who would not give his name, defended the €13-a-pop ($19 each) ice cream charges.
“It's their fault...I advise foreigners to read the menu,” he said, even though his staff apparently, do not.
“An ice cream in this cup is big … you could have it for lunch!”
On its TripAdvisor page, Bar il Caffè scores a “terrible” rating from 25 of its 28 reviews, with one British customer describing the bar as a “complete rip off” to “avoid at all costs” after she was charged €29 for two drinks.
At least Mr and Mrs Luciani were relieved of the €2.50 per person cover charge. Lucky them!
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